Australian V8 Supercar young gun, Jamie Whincup and multiple Bathurst 1000 winner Craig Lowndes are calling on all young Australians not to drive and text message so they can give their driving the 100% attention needed. "Whether we're driving at 260km/h down Conrod Straight or 60 km/h on the main street we all have to give it 100%- anything less is asking for trouble" said Jamie Whincup. Mobile phones are a great way to stay in touch with loved one but it is important that whilst driving you give full attention to the road and leave text messaging for other times.
Whincup and Lowndes joined the Federal Government, motoring clubs and the mobile phone industry to warn young drivers about the dangers of text whilst driving. Federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, said the racing stars had made it clear to motorists that driving is not the time and place to send any text messages.
Texting whilst driving is a very risky exercise and it endangers the driver, passenger and other drivers on the road. A recent survey by an Australian motoring insurance company revealed an alarmingly high proportion of young drivers, 71%, say they have sent or read a text message while driving.
Whincup and Lowndes said that parents of young drivers should talk to them about the dangers of texting and driving. "It is equally important that the parents set a good example for their children by behaving in a responsible manner- not texting and only using hands-free mobile phones when it is safe to do so".
Drivers face a range of potential distractions, not just mobiles, distractions also include adjusting radios and CD players, talking to passengers, adjusting climate controls, eating and drink and other outside distractions, they all need to be taken into account.
AAA Executive Director, Mike Harris and AMTA Chief Executive Officer, Chris Althaus, said a legal hands-free kit was not a guarantee of safety on the road, "although a hands-free can reduce the physical effort to make and receive calls, drivers should avoid making calls in adverse traffic, road or weather conditions and avoid complex or emotional conversations" they said.
AMTA's driver safety tips can be found at www.amta.org.au
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