Inattention while in control of any vehicle can lead to a collision causing serious injury or death.
That’s the warning from the Police Service of Northern Ireland as they urge all motorists to “Drive Aware” this month and not get distracted on their journey.
So far this year in Northern Ireland 60 people have died on our roads as a result of a road traffic collision.
District Commander, Chief Superintendent Davy Moore said: “Almost everyone has a mobile phone or device that they use to communicate. I want drivers to switch them off before getting in the car.
“The numbers of motorists using mobile phones to make calls, texts or social media updates whilst driving has risen and careless/distracted driving is expected to be the biggest single cause of death and injuries on roads as a result in 2015.
Using a mobile phone whilst driving increases the risk of a collision by a factor of four.”
He continued: “This is not just about mobile phones. Children playing or arguing can cause a parent to look in the rear view mirror at the wrong time.
“In that split second you aren’t looking ahead for danger.”
“It’s wintertime. Darkness stays longer in the morning and comes earlier in the evening. Low light conditions require more concentration from motorists.
“I want you to look at the road ahead while your vehicle is moving. Use your mirrors to ensure there is a safe distance. Don’t answer the phone. Don’t reach down to get something from the passenger foot well. Don’t get distracted by passengers. Don’t look down to check the radio station you are listening to. If you need to do something pull over to somewhere safe and do it while you are stationary.”
He concluded: “We want to help keep people safe. Please heed our advice and don’t become a statistic.”