Now into its third cycle, the 'Get Your Hand Off It' safety campaign continues to go from strength to strength in NSW. Aiming to highlight the risks of operating mobile phones while driving, it has already been instrumental in raising awareness of the dangers and consequences of this illegal activity.
However, there is always room for improvement given the NSW Police Force issued around 35,000 fines to motorists using their mobile phone while driving.
Minister for Roads Duncan Gay this week launched the most recent version of the campaign, starting with the release of a new ad. Targeting those aged between 17 and 39, who are known to take the most risks out on the road, the ad demonstrates that you can travel 33 metres sightless when looking at your mobile phone for just two seconds.
This was calculated at 60 kilometres per hour so it is easy to imagine the distance and damage possible if traveling any faster.
Mr Gay explained that even a short lapse of concentration can cause a serious road accident.
"The key message we're spreading is that if you look away from the road to read or touch your phone, even for two seconds, you're driving blind," he said.
"No Tweet, Selfie, Facebook friend request or SMS is more important than concentrating on the road and protecting yours or someone else's life."
Drivers caught using mobile phones
It is important to remember that regardless of where you are driving, mobile phone use is illegal. In recent months, Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) highlighted this fact and explained that the attitudes around mobile phone use are similar to drink driving in the 1990s.
"It's time for some motorists to stop thinking that using handheld mobile phones won't impact their driving. The reality is, by using them they're taking a deadly risk," RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith stated.
"As new technology continues to emerge – distraction which includes texting and driving is an issue we're not only dealing with in Queensland, it's a global issue."
NSW car accident compensation
If you are involved in a car accident in NSW and suffer a whiplash injury because of another motorist using their mobile phone, you could be eligible for compensation. The motor accident compensation scheme extends to most individuals including drivers and pedestrians.
It is important to contact a car accident compensation lawyer as soon as you are well enough. They can offer advice about your possible claim and discuss the circumstances around the accident.