Studies say these distracted driving activities delay your braking reaction and can lead to fatal accidents.
If you are fond of using your phone while driving, you may want to drop the habit now.
Senate Bill No. 3211, also known Anti-Distracted Driving Act, has just passed its third and final reading on the Senate.
In a statement by Senator Sergio Osmeña III, one of the bill’s authors, he said that “while the State recognizes the vital roles of information and communications technology in nation-building, the State also takes cognizance of the inimical consequences of the unrestrained use of electronic mobile devices on road safety as to cause its regulation.”
The bill aims to curb the use of cellphones, laptops, and other electronic devices by any means or for whatever purpose, even when at a stoplight.
If passed, harsher penalties await violators, from a P5,000 to P15,000 fine and up to a three-month suspension of driver’s license.
Studies suggest that calling or texting while driving makes the driver just as impaired as when under the influence of alcohol. Further research has found that mobile phone use while on the wheel delays one’s braking reactions by at least three seconds.
And while, according to a 2015 report by the National Statistics Office, mobile phone use accounts for one of the main causes of traffic accidents, other distractions are just as bad as fiddling with your phone.
If you want to stay safe while you are on the road, keep your eyes on the road and steer clear from these activities.
Smoking kills. Drivers who smoke don’t just inhale harmful chemicals; they also tend to keep their eyes and mind off the road. Driving with one hand also reduces your control over the vehicle, even during heavy traffic. In addition, vaping inside your vehicle can reduce visibility, which can obfuscate your view and cause some serious driver miscalculation.
2. Playing loud music
While some music or early morning talk show will keep you company during the morning rush, playing loud music while driving has been proven to be a factor in some accidents caused by distracted driving. A research published at Accident Analysis and Prevention found that people who play loud music in the car have “significantly more driving errors when they were listening to their own music, including dangerous behaviors like speeding, aggression, and weaving.”
3. Chatting with passengers
Going on a road trip with other people seems fun, and as a driver, your main goal is to take you and your passengers to your destination safely and unscathed. But according to news site LiveScience, drivers were found to be “six times more likely to have a serious driving incident—such as a collision, near collision, or loss of control—when there was a loud conversation in the car, compared to when there were no loud conversations.”
While grabbing some grub in the middle of a drive spells convenience, eating while driving can take your mind off the road and distract you. According to Decide to Drive, an organization that aims to stop distracted driving, “Eating and driving often incorporates a combination of one or more distractions. Drivers must unwrap food packaging, use napkins, hold the food with at least one hand, apply condiments and complete other activities while operating a vehicle. This makes eating while driving a particularly dangerous activity.”
5. Taking a selfie
Nothing is safe these days; not even the innocuous selfie has zero risks. While we’ve heard stories of selfies gone wrong, taking out your phone to snap a photo—whether of you or the car of the erring driver in front of you—is just as dangerous as texting while driving. –Dino Mari Testa