Texting and Driving: How to Stop

When it comes to running our day-to-day lives, nothing is more synonymous with efficiency and connectivity than our cell phones.

It’s as much a part of our lives as is our clothing, our jobs or our cars. Smartphones keep us connected, they run our businesses and our lives more efficiently, they keep us communicating and organised.

In a mobile first or mobile only country like South Africa, eight in ten people have smartphones and over 90% of country’s population has access to a cellular device.

But, with these impressive stats in technological advancement, comes a companion, the use of cell phones has a negative side effect too.

According to the International Road Traffic and Accident Database, in 2016; an average of 26 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants annually occur on South African roads, roughly 25% of all road deaths are connected to cell phone use while driving, which equates to roughly 3250 deaths annually because of the use of our cell phones on the road.

It’s a challenge; fatigue and boredom all have their part to play in why we use our phones on the road, everything from checking something for work, something funny or communicating. Our daily commutes are just, not interesting enough to maintain our attention.

How do we lower this number, how do we make ourselves safer?

Here are some of our ideas on a few things you could do to prevent the use of your cell phone while driving, they’re simple but they could help in getting the digital monkey off our backs on the road.

  1. Put your phone on silent
    • It seems like the simplest thing in the world, but putting your phone on silent is an easy way to not distract you while driving. Whatever the need or notification, it can wait until you have arrived at your destination.
    • This can cause something that we’ve all experienced before, where users think they’re hearing their phone ringing or vibrating, the good thing is, it isn’t and you’ll teach yourself not to keep looking at your phone every five minutes.
  1. Switch off notifications for your busy apps
    • Switching off your notifications in your setting menu for your busy apps like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram until you can connect to Wi-Fi, will stop you from getting distracted by spammy social media posts but can also save you on data costs while traveling.
  1. Put your phone in your pocket or in your bag
    • Again, a simple solution, though one we may not all be initially comfortable with. Putting our phones away and completely out of reach can add the anxiety factor to our commute; not having something to keep our minds busy or hands on, but, as is become popular to say, whatever it is, it can wait, even in a two-hour traffic wait.
  1. Use Lock Apps
    • There are several driver lock applications that make it more difficult to open or access your device, such as: Drivemode: Driving Interface or LifeSaver: Distracted Driving.
    • These can all be downloaded from your preferred app store, but it’s up to you to activate it, rather be safe than sorry!
    • Using these simple steps and recommendations can mean the difference between a tragic accident and getting to your place of work, or back home safely.
    • But if there ever is an emergency, the Maponya911 team is ready to come to the aid of those in need on our roads. Maponya911 RESCUE is a proudly South African emergency medical services provider.
    • Our services include Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Occupational Health Consultancy, Medical Stand-by for Events, Project Management, Training Development, and Policy Development.