Should texting while driving be legalised?
Hi drivers, it’s Jim!
So if you keep up to date with any of my social media channels and any of Marmalade’s (and happen to just not live under a rock in general) you will know that a few weeks ago Marmalade very kindly invited their other social ambassadors and myself along to the second annual Rockingham Track Day event! Safe to say we all had the most amazing time! Look out for my follow up blog post about the day in general coming soon!
What I am here writing for you today however, is about road safety, and in particular texting whilst driving. The main theme of the track day this year was geared around safe driving and as a result we were put under a few dangerous driving scenarios (all in a controlled environment I might add) to see what the outcome of these situations actually was.
So… texting while driving? Is it safe? Well if you count every single one of the cones I knocked down whilst texting and driving around the course as a pedestrian, then there would have been about 20+ casualties and fatalities no doubt. I honestly felt like I had no control whatsoever whilst behind the wheel. Here’s some footage of one of the other drivers ending up off-roading while texting at the wheel:
So I’ll give you some context of what we had to do: The course was set up with orange cones to simulate tight corners and bends, which most of us drivers meet on a day-to-day drive. We then set off in the car and the instructor held out questions on a piece of paper, which we then had to text the answers to people, whilst driving around this tight course. So not only were we having to text on our phone while driving, we were also having to read questions off a sheet of paper!! Fair to say most of my sentences were pretty unintelligible that I typed into my phone to friends and family (who had no idea what was going on). I was pretty happy with that though as it shows that I’m clearly not used to that scenario as I never text while driving, or even touch my phone!
The final part of this scenario was to do an emergency stop whilst reading a fairly long question off of the instructor’s sheet of paper. I had to accelerate whilst reading then do an emergency stop when I got up to a pair of cones. I was amazed as this nearly doubled the stopping distance it took when I was doing the course under no ‘dangerous scenarios’. Just goes to show how much your reaction times are affected whilst using your phone.
Overall from this scenario I really got to see how dangerous driving while using a mobile is; I hit loads of cones, missed junctions at a (cone replica) roundabout, and my emergency stopping distance was doubled! I do have to say, a few of my fellow ambassadors were surprisingly good at this experiment however, so I’ll be having words with a few of them! At the present time, the fine for getting caught on your phone while driving (even having it in your hand) is 6 points on your license and a £200 fine! Also, those people who have only passed their test within the last 2 years will get completely disqualified from driving if caught - so don’t risk it!! No one wants that fine and obviously the worse-case scenario is unthinkable!
So it’s very fair to say I won’t be texting, or using my mobile at all for that matter, whilst driving any time soon!! I’m going to leave you on the same note we were left on that day, by embedding a video we were shown down below for you. Out of all the videos I’ve ever seen trying to promote safe driving, this one really does hit you hard so I hope you get a message from this blog post!
As always, drive SAFE! And all the best until next time!