The Dangers of Distracted Driving

African Independent Brokers is dedicated to promoting safe driving behavior on South African Roads. One of the key issues identified at the forefront of driving safety is distracted driving. With a dramatic increase found in the use of hand-held devices, there is no doubt that texting while driving has become a serious issue resulting in terrible accidents.

Cell phones and Driving:

An international survey of those driving with cell phones found that almost half swerved or drifted into another lane, 23% tailgated, 21% cut someone off and 18% nearly hit another car.
The best advice we can offer you is to completely avoid using your cell phone or any other mobile device such as tablets while driving. If, however, it is unavoidable, use a hands-free microphone.

Ask your passenger to dial or answer the phone for you and keep calls brief. It is not advisable to answer your cell phone at all while you are driving. If it is an emergency, find a suitable place to pull over in order for you to take the call.
The bottom line is that, more often than not, there is no real need to use your mobile device while driving and the reality of the matter is that “it can wait”. So, stay safe and refrain from putting yourself and others at risk.

Do You Drive While Distracted?

There are many activities that have the potential to distract you while you are driving and increase your risk of being in an accident. The question is, are you really concentrating on the road?

Ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. Are you always prepared to avoid cars swerving in front of you?
  2. Can you safely brake if a pedestrian suddenly steps in front of your car?
  3. Can you safely steer around any debris that falls from a truck in front of you?
  4. Do you often read or respond to text messages on your cell phone while you are driving?

Things that can distract you:

Physical distractions:

  • Using mobile devices
  • Roadside activities such as accidents or police traffic stops
  • Outdoor advertising and construction sites
  • Reading maps (or anything else)
  • Personal grooming (shaving, applying makeup, brushing hair)
  • Eating or drinking
  • Changing clothing
  • Searching for lost or fallen items
  • Flying insects
  • Tuning the radio or inserting and removing CDs
  • Talking to passengers or tending to children
  • Smoking

Mental and Emotional Distractions:

  • Strong emotions such as anger and grief
  • Tiredness or drowsiness
  • Arguments and emotional conversations

When driving, you need to stay focused and alerted at all times, here are a few tips how:

  • Avoid distractions caused by cell phones and other devices like GPS
  • Avoid staring at one point for too long
  • Never read while driving – not even a map!
  • Do not change clothing and avoid personal grooming
  • Do not allow passengers to distract you
  • Make sure children and pets are properly restrained before you start driving (pull over if children or animals need your attention)
  • Avoid eating and drinking (plan in advance so you have time to stop and eat)

Here’s a bit more advice for continued Road Safety:

Never allow technology to divert your concentration. Inserting a CD or searching for a radio station poses a much greater risk than glancing at the fuel gauge or speedometer.

Ask your passenger to adjust the radio or climate controls for you and, for more complex devices (such as GPS), rather pull over.

Let’s continue to be conscious about road safety.


African Independent Brokers (Pty) Ltd (Registration number 2012/010479/07) is an authorised financial services provider (FSP38159), underwritten by Dotsure Limited (Registration Number 2006/000723/06) an Authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP39925)