One could argue that there is nothing more dangerous than getting distracted when you are behind the wheel of a car.
Even looking away from the road for a few seconds could cause you to miss something ahead, such as the vehicle in front of you slowing down, an upcoming corner or a pedestrian crossing.
Although we like to think that all the motorists around us will drive responsibly, sometimes crashes do occur and this is why every driver needs to be alert and focused at all times.
A delay in reaction time could turn a small collision into a fatal car accident – the less time you have to respond to changes on the road, the more likely you are to lose control of your vehicle and put others at risk.
This is one of the reasons why police are always on the lookout for those illegally talking on a handheld mobile phone when they are driving.
While some people may think that having a conversation on their cell phone is no different to chatting to a fellow passenger, because it requires you to take one hand off the wheel it can be very dangerous.
The same applies to text messaging – drivers who look down at their phones constantly to read a message or write a reply are risking their own safety, as well as that of other drivers on the road.
With the rise in popularity of smartphones, some reckless motorists even choose to browse the internet or read the news when they are behind the wheel.
In NSW, police recently cracked down on this habit as part of Operation Compliance 2, a 24-hour operation to target mobile phone and seatbelt offences.
A total of 1353 infringement notices were issued over this period, 824 of which were for using a mobile phone when driving.
In one instance, police allegedly spotted a truck driver talking into his phone and tried to pull him over but he ignored them and continued on his way.
This happened at approximately 09:50 in the morning on July 11. Although police finally managed to stop the vehicle, when they did so the truck driver was uncooperative and had to be arrested.
Acting Commander of Traffic Services Stuart Smith said that his behaviour put surrounding motorists at risk.
“In terms of the truck driver, he has put himself and other motorists at risk by using a mobile phone whilst travelling on a busy freeway. Any device which can cause a driver to be distracted is dangerous,” he said.
“Clearly the message is not getting through.”
If you or a relative are ever involved in a car accident you may be eligible for compensation.