Driving while intexticated: Why texting and driving are a dangerous mix

Considering Australians check their phones more than 200 times a day, it's no surprise that some of those checks occur while driving.

Despite knowing we're putting ourselves at danger, many of us struggle to kick the bad habit. Perhaps one of the most common times to use our phone while driving is at a red light, where the statinary position adds a false sense of security. The truth is, even at a traffic light, every second spent glancing at your screen puts you at greater risk for an accident. This is because your brain divides its concentration and judgement between the two tasks at hand, thereby compromising your attention. 

 

How can you stop using your smartphone behind the wheel?

Obviously, the best way to stop your smartphone from distracting you when driving is to turn it off - completely. This means not simply switching it to 'silent' mode, or shutting down the screen - we mean off! 

When your phone is off, it can't ring or vibrate, and thus, you'll be far less tempted to pick it up. There are also apps that will prevent you from using your phone when it's in the car. Instead, should you receive a text or phone call, the app will send out an automated reply, alerting the caller that you're driving and will respond when it is safe to do so.

If you really do have to make a call, be sure to pull into a safe spot to do so - no message or conversation is worth putting your life in harm's way. 

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