Voices

Distracted drivers are d**ks

Fines for using mobile phones while driving are on the up, while for p-plate drivers there’s a ban on their use… so why are people still holding on.

LAST FRIDAY I became a dibber-dobber. I had just collected my son from school and was about to head across town to collect child the second. So there I was crawling past the school at less than 40km/h when a woman with a car full of kids and with her mobile phone pressed up against her ear pulled out in front of me. Without looking.

I hit the brakes just as the car’s autonomous emergency braking began flashing and warning me of an ‘obstacle detected’. Then I honked the horn… What happened next staggered me. The woman driving the car in front of me, rested her phone on her shoulder and kept it propped against her ear, flicked her right arm out the car window and flipped me the bird.

It got worse. As I followed this fool up the road she began speeding up and slowing down and even wandering in the lane. It was clear she distracted… the phone was still propped up against her ear by her shoulder. So, I pulled over and called the police and reported her. And I’ll do it again because I would like to get from A to B without having some pillock drive into me just because they absolutely had to ‘take the call’. D#$ks.

Comprehensive Car Insurance

Now, I like my phone as much as the next person… it controls my job and my life but I don’t talk on it while driving and I don’t check texts or emails. If I need to make a call, I’ll pull over to the side of the road and dial. Yeah, I’m old school. Or, I’ll just wait. The world won’t stop turning.

Sometimes, not talking on the phone or grabbing it to check it whenever it chimes is relaxing. I like to treat the car like it’s my Fortress of Solitude. And I reckon you should too.

Sure, Bluetooth connectivity is a great invention, but I reckon using a phone while behind the wheel adds a level of unnecessary distraction. I mean, if you’re a digger driver you don’t try and drive the thing and make a cake at the same time… That said, I do tend to use Bluetooth in the course of my work, to check how the phone connects and the quality of the call. But this is usually done while I’m stationary.

Google driver distraction and mobile phone use and the first website that appeared in my search was one that tried very hard to distance mobile phones from being a cause of collisions. It was called, ‘Keep your eyes on the road’… and that kind of sounds official, and it is. It’s an official website produced on behalf of the telecommunications industry, yep, the carriage companies and the companies that make the handsets all chip in to keep this thing going. Wow.

Now, I had a look at the most recent statistics for road deaths in Australia and they reveal that road deaths associated with distraction are up. Sure, they don’t specify the cause of the distraction, but given the amount of people I see driving around with phones pressed against the ears while driving, or checking them in stop-start traffic would suggest they represent a fair proportion of collisions. But would they admit to using their phone at the time of the collision? Of course not.

Take this mobile phone-based distraction a step further and pedestrians are just as much to blame… How many people have you seen with their face buried in their phone while crossing the street?

Seriously people, put the frickin’ phone down and concentrate on the task at hand. Driving.


3 Comments

  1. Jane Speechley
    November 7, 2016 at 5:49 pm — Reply

    “I like to treat the car like it’s my Fortress of Solitude. And I reckon you should too.”

    Great advice!

  2. Andrew Riles
    November 7, 2016 at 6:26 pm — Reply

    It’s experiences like yours above that make me want to fit a dashcam…that way I have hard proof to handover to the police when I report it….

    • Guest
      November 7, 2016 at 11:02 pm — Reply

      Dashcam evidence on using the phone whilst driving won’t get any action. I’ve recorded many and yet I bet nothing will happen to it coz it’s WAYYY easier to catch someone over a certain speed than it is to catch them on the phone. If they were serious about stopping this bad behaviour, they’d make using a phone whilst driving a 12 point offense. Unfortunately the govt is not in the business to remove bad drivers off the road as they are the perfect candidate to fill the govt revenue purse.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.