Refraction Education : NRMA Car Safety (Years 9-10)
31 THE ROAD SAFETY TOTAL LEARNING RESOURCE • YEARS 9–10 EXPLAIN – ARTICLE 2 Mobile phone use Nowadays, a handheld device can do a whole lot more than just call or text. You can use it as a GPS, keep up with online traffic reports, see what people are tweeting about, or check the status of your friends via social networks. Although it is illegal for all drivers to use a hand held device while driving, people still admit to using their mobile device behind the wheel. The offence is dangerous, and it carries a heavy fine and the loss of three demerit points. The NRMA advises all drivers who need to use their mobile phones to pull over before using their phones. Attentivenss is important – split second reactions could mean the difference between being in a crash, or avoiding one. Learner and P1 licence holders are not permitted to use any function of a mobile phone while driving or when the vehicle ignition is switched on. This includes phones in hands-free mode, with the loud speaker operating or sending text messages. These special licence conditions, among others, for learner and provisional drivers are there for a reason – with inexperience comes a higher risk of danger. Learner drivers need to focus on the task of driving, and on developing their hazard-perception and vehicle control skills. Text messaging – there’s no excuse The results of NRMA research provide evidence that retrieving and, in particular, sending text messages has a detrimental effect on a number of safety-critical driving measures. In particular, when text messaging, drivers’ ability to maintain lateral position and to detect and respond appropriately to traffic signs is negatively affected. In addition, when text messaging, drivers spent up to 400% more time with their eyes off the road than they did when not text messaging. While there was some evidence that drivers attempted to compensate for being distracted by increasing their following distance, drivers did not reduce their speed while distracted, which could increase their risk of being involved in a crash because it increases the stopping distance required to avoid a collision. Studies continue to show that using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous because it slows reaction times and interferes with a driver ’s perception skills – increasing the chances of having a crash. For more information and safety tips while staying connected, go to: www.mynrma.com.au/motoring-services/road-safety/ mobiles.htm For more information on licence conditions for learner and provisional drivers, go to: roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/drivers/ youngdrivers/licenceconditions.html Sources: www.mynrma.com.au/motoring-services/road-safety/ texting.htm roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/ mobilephones/index.html ATTENTIVENESS AND MOBILE PHONE USE Learning to drive isn’t as straightforward as you think. An unfortunate statistic with learning to drive is that young drivers have more than three times the risk of a serious crash. “ ATTENTIVENESS IS IMPORTANT - SPLIT-SECOND REACTIONS COULD MEAN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING IN A CRASH, OR AVOIDING ONE.
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