When a second can last a lifetime – if your eyes aren’t on the road

Split-second decisions can change your life forever. Yet we make them every day. Especially when we’re driving. Overtaking on certain roads. Understanding road signs. We make tons of judgement calls, even when we’re just nipping to the drive-thru. And we’re not talking cheese or sauce choice here.

The decisions we make when behind the wheel can have serious results.

When we’re steering a huge lump of metal we need our wits about us.

And there’s no easy way to say this: distractions lead to disaster.

One of the biggest distractions out there, you’re probably looking at right now. You may be best mates with your mobile. But when it comes to driving, out of sight, out of mind may be wisest. Because your phone could be your own worst enemy.

Here’s the jaw-dropper:

You are 4 times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone.[1]

Because, when you’re glancing at a screen, your eyes aren’t on the road. You may think it’s just a second. But at 30 mph, a car travels 44 feet in that time.[2]

That’s the length of a badminton court in the blink of an eye.

It’s a big space for something to happen.  

But not enough time to brake.

Accident scenes up and down the country show how this unfolds. A traffic jam forming ahead.  Someone crossing the road. A car breaking down suddenly.

Your safety is important to us. So, listen in, because here’s the lowdown on the law:

It’s illegal to hold or use a hand-held phone, tablet, or sat nav while driving. For any reason – unless it’s a 999 or 112 call. (But it would have to be an emergency and only if it’s unsafe or impractical to stop.) [3]

It includes when you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.

You can get 6 penalty points and a £200 fine. Heads up new(ish) drivers – you’ll lose your licence if you passed your driving test in the last 2 years.

You can also be taken to court where you can be banned from driving or get a maximum fine of £1,000.

The law says you can use hands-free like a Bluetooth headset, voice command, a dashboard holder or mat, a windscreen mount, or a built-in sat nav. (Nothing that blocks your view of the road.) But even then, research shows that our brain can’t cope, so it becomes a distraction we can do without.[4]

Remember: don’t touch your device during your journey, not even for a second.

Because a second can be serious. And, believe us, nothing is worth the risk.

[1] https://www.think.gov.uk/themes/mobile-phones/

[2] https://www.think.gov.uk/themes/mobile-phones/

[3] https://www.think.gov.uk/themes/mobile-phones/

[4] https://blogs.sussex.ac.uk/policy-engagement/files/2019/01/Talking-on-the-phone-while-driving-supplementary-doc.pdf