Distracted driving will remain a problem in South Africa, unless drastic action is taken. Action needs to come not only from officials, but also by a change of attitude among drivers

“A driver who is talking on a cell phone, or texting while driving, needs to realise that their actions are not only irresponsible but also put the lives of other, law-abiding citizens in jeopardy. They can cause a crash that injures, or worse, kills, other people through their own reckless behaviour.

“We also want to make these drivers aware that it can happen to them: no-one is immune to the dangers of being distracted,” said the AA.

“A driver who is talking on a cell phone, or texting while driving, needs to realise that their actions are not only irresponsible but also put the lives of other, law-abiding citizens in jeopardy”

While there are many different distractions that constitute distracted driving, the following are among the most prevalent:

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  • Talking on cell phones, or texting while driving
  • Eating while driving
  • Putting on ties or other clothing while driving, or changing clothes when driving,
  • Applying make-up while driving
  • Looking round to the back seat, to engage passengers, especially children
  • Setting GPS devices while moving
  • Searching for items in various areas of the car while driving

“We urge all drivers to obey the laws, and above all, to be sensible when driving. Put your cell phone in the boot of your car before driving off, and put on your tie or make-up before you get going. If you use a GPS device, set the destination before embarking on your journey. Remember that if you don’t focus on the road, there is a 100 percent likelihood that you will not avoid a crash while you are distracted,” the AA concluded.