Texting while Driving – A Real Learner’s Test

Admit it, you are guilty of doing this at one point or another – texting while driving. We may think we got everything under control but really, that fine line between life and death is very thin. 

There are 1.2 million traffic victims worldwide each year. Based on the statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16 percent of fatal accidents recorded in 2008 were due to the drivers being distracted which include reading, composing and texting while on the wheel.

Closer to home, according to the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), there were 414,421 accidents recorded in 2010 for Malaysia alone. While in a report provided by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research, men are 2.4 times more prone to accident compared to ladies, though these incidents involving women have also steadily increased in the past few years. There are no statistics on texting while driving incidents in the country but one can guess that it is much more prevalent than we would like to accept.

Research has shown that driving while using a mobile phone reduces the amount of brain activity and delays a driver’s reactions by as much as 37 percent. The problem is many people think they are invisible, having used the mobile phones before previously and nothing untoward has happened. Well, the operative being not yet anyway.

It has been suggested that the way to raise awareness on road safety is to start ‘em young. As in the case with this Belgian road safety campaign. The Responsible Young Drivers (RYD) group, a safety organisation in Belgium, convinced young motorists into thinking that a new law had been passed requiring them to pass a texting while driving test.

The results were telling as many failed to perform under pressure. But the message was clear, road safety is no laughing matter as advocated by RYD. It really is a bad idea to text while driving, see the video for yourself. Perhaps, this should be implemented in our driving school?

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