Remember DWD this April

Internationally, April is the month of Distracted Driving Awareness. As it is also the month of numerous public holidays in South Africa, MasterDrive is encouraging all drivers to avoid driving while distracted (DWD) if they are travelling during this period.

During a six-year period in the USA, DWD was responsible for 23 000 deaths and over a million injuries – which is believed to only have worsened following the pandemic. The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says: “These stats illustrate the importance of continuing to bring awareness to DWD in April especially as South Africans will be travelling over a number of long weekends. Use the below tips to help reduce distractions,” says Herbert.

  1. Don’t be afraid to just turn off your phone

Text messages, social media and emails can wait, particularly if you are on leave. Try putting your phone out of reach, or just turn it off. When you get to your destination, you can read your messages and respond. Alternatively, especially if your organisation will have drivers on the road, make use of technology that makes it near-impossible to use a phone while driving, such as NOCELL.

  1. Be organised

Know where your important items are before beginning your drive to avoid searching for something while driving. Set your navigation system, have your toll money ready and snacks in reaching distance, in advance. Multi-tasking while driving takes both your eyes and concentration off the road.

  1. Have co-pilots

Ask your passengers to assist by doing everything they can that would otherwise remove your attention from the road, including checking the navigation, selecting music or sending a text and even, ideally, answering calls.

  1. Keep it light

Do not use a road trip to discuss topics likely to cause conflict or stress. This can cause a major cognitive distraction. Save these topics for later, whether the context is personal or professional.

  1. Limit Bluetooth use

It is legal but, ultimately, hands-free texting and talking is still a distraction. Your mind and attention is removed from the road. Thus, use it only when absolutely necessary.

  1. Smartphone safety

If you are using your smartphone’s navigation, you cannot just switch the phone off completely. In this instance, try putting your phone on silent. This is also where technology, like the NOCELL technology, can be essential to limit phone use and help keep your eyes on the road.

  1. Take your time

We all need quiet moments and while many may find it difficult in a world where we are constantly entertained and distracted, consider turning off the radio or even ask passengers for some quiet. It can be relaxing to collect your thoughts and focus on the single task at hand.