It’s not an uncommon sight to see drivers giving their phones a sly little glance while waiting impatiently at the traffic lights.
It’s equally as frustrating as it is alarming, purely because as a fellow driver, nothing you say or do can keep their eyes on the road and off their celeb crush’s Instagram feed. You know, unless you stare at them with such intensity that they feel your eyes burning into the back of their head, forcing them to put down their phone out of sheer terror.
As part of the annual Fatality Free Friday road safety campaign, we’re here to give you some nifty lil life hacks to make sure your peepers remain peepin’ on the road.
Put Your Phone Out Of Reach
Remember Rugrats? Of course you do, Rugrats was by far the best show on Nickelodeon and I’m happy to debate that with anyone who argues otherwise.
There’s a pretty simple yet effective technique that is often carried out in Rugrats, involving Didi Pickles hiding cookies from her absolute menace of a niece, Angelica. What a piece of work she was.
The point of this little Rugrats recap that no one asked for is not to evoke the nostalgia in all of us, but outline a trick for those tech-dependent drivers – out of sight, out of mind.
If you don’t trust yourself, put your phone in the boot, on the back seat, lock it in a safe you preemptively installed in the glove box for all I care. Just get it out of arm’s length.
Play Old Fashioned Games With Your Pals
While I Spy and the Alphabet Game usually wear out their welcome relatively quickly, put an adult spin on a traditional game and you’ll be both phone and carefree the entire time.
Instead of playing I Spy, consider playing “I Tried”, a fun little twist where you go around the car and explain what went wrong in your past relationships. For example:
“Every time I tried to talk to him about taking our relationship to the next level, he crawled under the bed and make incessant ‘meowing’ noises for three hours. Ah well, I tried.”
Chances are you’ll be so wrapped up in your soul-crushing game that reaching for your phone won’t even cross your mind.
Do Not Disturb While Driving
Those savvy cats over at Apple have obviously cottoned on to this whole “texting while driving” crisis and have included a safeguarding feature in their latest iOS update. The Do Not Disturb While Driving feature recognises when you’re driving and silences notifications, with a handy lil option to send an auto-reply letting them know you’re busy driving.
Not to be outdone, Android has also released a variety of apps through their Google Play store, such as Safedrive, which takes it a step further and bars you from accessing your phone while you drive. Forceful, yet effective.
Run Scenarios In Your Head
While a little dark, it’s also incredibly useful to imagine some worst-case scenarios while you’re behind the wheel. The constant horror stories we hear about accidents caused by silly mistakes – often ruining the lives of everyone involved – should be enough of a deterrent, yet it’s easy for it to slip our minds while we’re jamming along to our guilty pleasures (So Fresh ’07 all the way).
Of course, nobody wants to spend a car trip weeping uncontrollably, so just a little reminder as you get into the car should do the trick. Then you can continue with your usual routine of driving past every fast food chain, slowing down to indicate into the drive-thru before driving off both relieved and wildly disappointed. The temptation is real.
Find A Suitable Podcast Which Will Keep You Entertained
As a self-proclaimed podcast expert, give me a topic that interests you and I’ll whip out a podcast that you’ll become addicted to. True crime? My Favourite Murder. The Simpsons? Four-Fingered Discount.
Okay, so maybe my knowledge is limited to true crime and The Simpsons, but those two niche topics come in handy at least once every three years at parties.
Anywho, the key is to chuck on a podcast (through your Bluetooth, obvi) and be entertained for the entire car ride without once considering touching your phone. Just find a podcast that will last the duration of your journey and m8, you’ll be sorted.
Have A Friend Read Out Your Correspondence For You
If you really have zero self-control (shame on you), there are ways you can alleviate that burning desire to reach for your mobile, by simply having your friend read out your texts and emails for you.
You might want to make sure that no sensitive material will be sent through though, otherwise you could experience one of those awkward situations where your friend reads a break-up text aloud to everyone in the car. Absolute ‘mare of a situation.
The stats are pretty dang scary, with a study showing that 75% of Queenslanders drive and text – and that’s just the people who admit to it. It’s 2018 and obviously, our phones are essentially our safety blanket, but dudes just unplug for 20 mins.
You can creep into as many DM’s as you want when you’re not controlling a 2-tonne machine.
Head to PPQ‘s website for more details.