At MAPRE FOUNDATION we insist above all that safety is the most important consideration. Given that it is fundamental to reduce distractions to a minimum while at the wheel, it is crucial to prevent any situation that may distract our attention, either inside or outside of the vehicle. Sending a text message, searching for an address or a child incorrectly secured in the vehicle can easily affect concentration and expose us to serious danger. Before starting up, certain precautions should be taken:
- Check that child restraining systems are correctly secured: appropriate approved child seat for the child’s weight and height and under 135cms and for children over 135cms and an adult seat belt properly adjusted for those bigger. To ensure correct positioning of the seat belt, the upper strap should cross over the sternum and the middle of the collarbone and the lower strap securely positioned across the hips. Always use a booster seat where necessary.
- Ensure that there are no loose objects inside the car that could move around if you brake quickly, or worse during a collision.
- Find the address in your Satnav before leaving home (or in your mobile if using an app). Never use the Satnav while on the move.
- And of course forget about your mobile: using it, even for a quick call while driving is just as dangerous to you and your passengers as driving under the influence of alcohol. It is illegal to use it unless you have a hands free system. Remember: even with hands free a mobile distracts you from driving, and poses a serious danger. Using your mobile at the wheel is serious offence carrying a fine of 200€ and 3 points on your license.
Better to leave it where you can’t hear incoming messages causing a distraction. Even in an emergency no text is more important than the one to say you have arrived at your destination. Chatting, doing a profile or posting on social networks is reckless, irresponsible and extremely dangerous increasing the risk of accident by 4.
At the MAPRE FOUNDATION we never tire of repeating that safety comes first. If you find that you really have to answer a call then use hands free and be quick. If you need to look up something, program the Satnav or you have forgotten to reply to an important text, look for a safe stopping place and do it there. The best place for your phone while on the move is in your bag or the glove compartment.