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Driven to distraction


Haydn Gill

Driven to distraction

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You’re driving through the City in afternoon rush-hour traffic. Your cellphone rings. You pull over to the side to answer. Well, not quite.

Observations by a WEEKEND NATION team for two days this week suggest that many Barbadians regularly use their mobile phones while driving.

We spent five hours at five different locations on Tuesday and Wednesday and counted 227 instances when a driver was using a cellphone to either talk, text or read. Additionally, another 19 were seen drinking, eating or checking lottery tickets.

Many of our road users compromise their safety and those of others in the interest of chatting. Drivers smiled and talked as they drove with one hand, apparently oblivious to the dangers.

Our investigation was prompted by the recent revelation by the General Insurance Association of Barbados (GIAB) that four in every ten road accidents are caused by driver distractions such as cellphones.

For many, it may seem harmless to take a hand off the steering wheel, put a phone to your ear and engage someone in a conversation for a few minutes.

Experts suggest otherwise, however.

 

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