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Christmas Message GraphicThe Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS), Australia’s peak motor sport body, is urging all to be safe and responsible throughout the holiday period. This is a busy time of year as millions of motorists take to the roads. Maintaining a high level of concentration and effectively managing distractions is an integral part of safe motoring and will reduce the risk of being involved in a crash. One of the biggest challenges facing drivers at this time is the use of mobile phones whilst behind the wheel.

Studies in the US have shown that a driver is four times more likely to be involved in a crash when talking on a mobile phone held up to their ear. This involves a combination of risky behaviours, including the use of only one hand on the wheel. In addition, some may be surprised to discover that the same studies have shown even with a fully integrated hands free kit, a driver is still 3.9 times more likely to be involved in a crash. What this highlights is the importance of managing distractions whilst behind the wheel.

The proliferation of mobile phones means this is an issue which most motorists will face at some point in time. With the increasingly large part mobile phones play in the lives of the younger generation, it is particularly important to educate them as to the dangers of mobile phone use whilst driving. They represent the most vulnerable group on Australia's roads and as such educating them about good driving habits is of vital importance. CAMS is dedicated to road safety education, focusing strongly on novice drivers with its ‘CAMS Ignition’ program, which targets attitudes and behaviours of pre-licensed drivers aged 12-18.

Mobile phones are not the only distractions a driver faces behind the wheel. Smoking, music, pets and other passengers are among the elements which will often compete for attention. At 60kph a car travels 16.66 meters every second. What this means is that even a quick 2 second glance at your phone or radio will see you more than 30 meters further down the road. This underlines the importance of maintaining concentration when behind the wheel.

CAMS President Andrew Papadopoulos said “Whether it’s in car distractions, excessive speed for the conditions or road rage, our members are pleading with Australians to be extra safe in order to reduce the road toll these holidays.”

Season’s Greetings and Safe Motoring from CAMS