Mobile phone safety tips for drivers
Road accidents continue to increase, with Malta being registered as having the largest increase in road deaths since 2016 according to the European Transport Safety Council’s report. One of the leading causes of motor accidents is the use of mobile phones whilst driving.
The law is clear, one cannot handle their phone whilst driving and despite the hefty fine if caught, a considerable number of drivers still do. In light of this, Laferla is proud to be collaborating with RTK to raise awareness of the dangers and implications of using your mobile phone when driving. To support this campaign, we have come up with a few tips for the use mobile phones while driving to avoid endangering yourself and those around you.
1. Avoid using your phone
This might seem obvious, but the best way to avoid using your phone is to accept the fact that you can’t and shouldn’t use your phone while driving. Fine aside, your life and those around you are on the line. As more individuals take a stand against this, it will be less accepted and “normal” to use a phone while driving. Turn your phone off or set it to silent to avoid being distracted or tempted. You can play your part even further. If you are calling someone and you are aware that they are driving, you should immediately hang up. Remember, you don’t have to be in the car to cause the crash.
2. Make necessary calls prior to driving
Whether you’re running late for work or in a hurry to meet someone, you should take the time to make the call before actually driving. Though you may be in a rush, you can make matters a lot worse if you cause an accident. If you really need to get through to someone, plan ahead and deal with it before driving. Your focus while driving will be far better after you’ve given yourself peace of mind that you’ve already contacted the person you need to.
3. Pull over to a safe location to accept a call
If it’s an emergency and you really must answer or make a call, pull over safely to the side of the road or the nearest safe spot and deal with your call while stationary. If you think that your position might still be slightly perilous, we suggest turning on your hazard lights. You might choose to store your phone out of reach, forcing yourself to pull over should you need your phone. On a side note, being stationary in heavy traffic is not an acceptable situation to use your phone.
4. Ask a passenger to accept the call
A passenger can accept calls or reply to texts on your behalf. Ask the passenger to clarify that you are driving and not available for the moment. If the call is urgent, the passenger can relay the conversation to you, though this can be a bit distracting as well. Avoid making small children do this as it can be more distracting and an unfair burden on the young ones.
5. Use a hands-free kit
There are various ways that you can legally use your phone without actually handling it. The most common being a wireless Bluetooth headset, which you can connect to your phone. Modern cars have advanced technological integration for your phone where your phone is displayed on the dashboard for quick and easier access. The latest phones also feature a driving-mode; text messages are read out to you and you can give voice commands to answer a call or reply a text.
6. Don’t engage in a long, complex or emotional conversation
Even if you are legally answering a phone call, it is still taking a portion of your focus to hold the conversation. If you need to make a call, keep it short and to the point. Let the person know you are driving and that you will get back to them as soon as possible. This goes to passengers as well, who can be a distraction as well if lost in conversation.
To drive safely, it takes a considerable amount of concentration. If you can minimize your distractions, it will be far easier to pay attention to the road and avoid any mishaps. The more individuals who play their part, the safer our roads will be. A crucial point to note is that if an individual causes an accident due to the use of a mobile phone, the insurance policy won’t cover the accident. To find out more about our Motor Insurance policy, contact us today.