November 2015 | LTrent

Mobile Phones

Research shows that being distracted when driving, such as by a mobile phone, increases the risk of a crash. Simply taking your eyes off the road for longer than two seconds, doubles the risk of a crash. A short lapse of concentration can have lifelong consequences.
See how far you travel when you take your eyes off the road for just two seconds:
Travel speed                    Metres travelled in 2 seconds
40 km/h                           22.22
50 km/h                           27.78
60 km/h                           33.33
80 km/h                           44.44
100 km/h                         55.56
Dangerous problem
Crash data from 2010 to 2014 showed there were 236 crashes where hand-held mobile phone use by drivers was identified as a contributing factor. This included seven fatal crashes and 116 injury crashes. These crash numbers are considered to be under-reported suggesting the size of the problem could be much greater.
From July 2014 to June 2015, more than 35,300 fines were issued to drivers in NSW for using hand-held mobile phones, showing the problem is still prevalent.
Research shows that males and females aged 17-39 years have the highest rate of use of hand-held mobile phones while driving, and the greatest involvement in crashes where hand-held mobile phone use is a factor.

The Safety Cushion

The Safety Cushion is the clear space drivers need to maintain around their vehicle to give reaction, manoeuvring or stopping room in any situation and at any speed.

Your Safety Cushion surrounds your car to the front, sides and rear,  this is your territory and you should stringently guard against others entering it.

As you drive, you will need to maintain your Safety Cushion by adjusting your speed or, your position on the road.

A Safety Cushion will give you more time to spot any hazards that may arise.

NOTES: The Safety Cushion is variable and will alter with speed and traffic conditions.
More space is needed between cars at 100km/h than at 20km/h, so your Safety Cushion will increase with speed.
To maintain an adequate Safety Cushion to the front you need to:

  • control your speed to suit the road and traffic conditions
  • keep a safe distance between your car and the vehicle in front

Other drivers may see your Safety Cushion as a clear space to move into. In this case, you will need to adjust your speed and reclaim your space.