Ahmad (not true name) a 17 year old student decided to meet his friend in a shopping complex in Johor Baharu one evening. He was very excited as he had something to tell his friend on their project in school. He was riding his father’s motorcycle and the same time he also text his friend on where to meet up in the shopping complex.
Out of a sudden, he accidentally knocked into another cycle. He didn’t realize that few seconds off focus has lead to a lifelong sufferings not only for him but also for other people. The cyclist that he knocked down died on the site of accident and Ahmad himself sustained multiple injuries that resulted him to stay in a hospital for a long time. He didn’t do well in his SPM and that destroyed his ambition.
He kept on thinking “I should have put my phone away while I was on the road that day”.
Overview of the problem
Many people are engaged with the habit of texting while riding motorcycle/ driving. This activity is called distracted driving.
It is a very dangerous habit as it will risks the driver and other drivers to an unwanted, preventable motor vehicle accidents. Not only we risk ourselves, we also risk other people’s life by doing so. Infact, distracted driving have been reported to cause many motor vehicle accidents in Malaysia and worldwide.
Studies showed that the collision risk for drivers who text messages while driving goes up to twenty three times over those who do not do so.
A survey done in US in 2011 on Youth Risk Behaviour Students reported that nearly half of all the US high school students age sixteen years and above text or email during driving. There is one study called Car and Driver Study found that texting while driving can slow our reaction times MORE than alcohol.
Therefore it is important to remain safe while we are on the roads.
How to drive safely while using your hand phone (if you really need to use it though!)
- Silence your phone while driving to avoid hearing text message that will distract you. We wouldn’t be bothered to answer if we don’t know if there is message coming in. Furthermore it is not the end of the world if you do not answer the messages immediately.
- Do everything on screen before you depart. For example, if you need to use global positioning system (GPS), make sure you set the setting before you start your journey. Similarly if you need to make an urgent call, do it BEFORE you start your journey.
- Put your phone in a case or sleeve so that you can’t see the messages alert. Don’t make it easy to use the phone while driving or riding motorbike. Even the usage of hands free gadget does not really prevent accidents from happening.
- Remember, your eyes and mind need to be focused on the road at most of time
Watch this Video if you still feel that it’s OK to text during driving www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCIJW9gnchc