Wheels24

Top tips: Curb driver distraction

2012-05-18 12:58

The term “digital dashboard” may not be too familiar to regular South African drivers but if you only use a satnav or clip your smartphone into a windscreen-mount, we have a few tips that could well save lives.

UK driver training specialist IAM Drive & Survive has issued an advisory on using interactive dashboards safely.

While they're supposed to make driving safer in certain environments (by channelling calls to a hands-free device or alerting emergency services in the event of a crash), as they have many of the features as smartphones, they may similarly pose an in-car distraction.

FATAL ALTERNATIVES

IAM head of training Simon Elstow said: “While digital dashboards are becoming a popular accessory in luxury cars they can be very distracting. Missing a petrol station, or point of interest you’re looking, for is annoying but the alternative is potentially fatal. Pull over first to scan the information.”

Here are Elstow's tips for being safer on the road:• Avoid the temptation to use any feature that requires input from the driver on the move.

• Set your satnav BEFORE you leave for your trip.
• Prepare a music playlist for your journey to avoid fiddling with the audio system while driving.
• Find somewhere safe to pull over if you need to set up a destination on your satnav, or look for a local amenity.
• Familiarise yourself with how your interactive technology works.
• Make sure you know your route – don’t just rely on your satnav.