For some time, distracted driving, in particular while using a mobile phone, was touted as a major challenge to road safety, potentially as problematic as drunken driving. Yet, as we resume normal lives, the increased screen time most people experienced during lockdown has increased mobile phone use while driving according to experts.
• Using phone while driving is an invitation to accident
Whether you worked remotely or waited out lockdown at home, most people will admit their cellphone use increased. The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says this tendency can affect driving. “International research conducted by GEM Motoring Assist and Westcotec says greater reliance on one’s digital devices may make it more difficult to put these aside while driving.
“Using your phones to communicate is replacing face-to-face interactions as the new norm. Consequently, more drivers are likely to ignore the dangers of distracted driving and continue using their devices while behind the wheel as it is now a habit.”
The question is, where to from here? “During lockdown there was a massive reduction in crashes and consequent reduction in the strain placed on the GDP and healthcare system. With the reduction in fatalities seen this year, it would be a tragedy for these numbers to skyrocket because of an addiction to technology transferred into the car.