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Keep those hands on the wheel

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New survey results, sponsored by Jabra show that despite ongoing advanced technological developments to help keep both hands on the wheel, people are choosing to use their hands elsewhere whilst driving.

The most common harrowing activities include eating, changing clothes, operating GPS systems, yelling at other drivers, and texting. To compound issues even further, only about half of the survey respondents reported that they make use of a hands-free device, which is legislated in many countries, including South Africa.

‚While we have seen the demand for hands-free devices in South Africa increase since the inception of legislation prohibiting the use of cell phones without a hands-free device, we are honestly shocked at and concerned about what people are doing with their hands ‚ even when not using a headset or speakerphone,‚ said Ahmed Elkalliny, Area Director for Jabra Middle East & Africa. ‚Jabra’s products are designed to help drivers keep both hands on the wheel and the bad behaviours that were revealed in the survey are really quite frightening and a threat to everyone’s safety on the road.‚

The survey revealed that, road rage in general appears to be a global issue, with 63% of respondents admitting to – at the very least – yelling at other motorists while driving.

Elkalliny further states, ‚The high number of respondents who admit to experiencing and acting on road rage is very worrisome, especially if we consider that it is less than two weeks to kick off of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. While certain measures have been taken to upgrade the roads and infrastructure in South Africa ahead of the tournament, with an anticipated influx of hundreds of thousands of tourist, there will undoubtedly be a measurable impact on the roads across the country, particularly in-and-around the stadiums on game days.”

Stanley Anderson, Marketing Director for Hyundai Automotive South Africa agrees, ‚As intelligent as we can make cars, and even the latest vehicles coming out with all the ‚bells and whistles’ in terms of design and manufacturing safety features, at the end of the day we are reliant on human behaviour for responsible driving on the roads. It is therefore important for us as responsible corporate citizens to reiterate the importance of driver safety and to endorse devices and technologies that contribute to this.””

‚Sadly, it seems as though a lot of people do not take cognisance of the fact that each motorists’ actions impact both the flow of traffic and the level of safety experienced on the road. Our hope in releasing the results from this survey is that all commuters will begin to do exactly that ‚ take cognisance and responsibility for how they drive,”” concludes Elkalliny.

Further survey findings include:

§ 72% of respondents admitted to eating food regularly while driving

§ 29% of respondents admitted to kissing others while driving

§ 28% confirmed they text while driving

§ 25% admitting to styling their hair or changing clothes while the car is in motion

§ 13% reported they apply makeup while driving

§ 12% admitted to writing or reading emails while driving

§ 10% also reported reading newspapers or magazines while driving

§ 5% confessed to either having shave while behind the wheel or playing video games

Survey Methodology

The results of the survey, underwritten by Jabra and conducted by Lindberg International, are based on responses from an online survey of 1,800 consumers between the ages of 18 and 65 with an equal number of respondents in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and Japan. Respondents were asked how often they performed specific activities while driving and how dangerous they consider the activities ‚ the majority (75%) drives an average of 10 hours or less per week. The survey was conducted over a period commencing April 6, 2010 and continuing through April 9, 2010. The margin of error is +/- 2.1%.

To learn more about the survey results and the driving behaviors examined, visit www.Jabra.com/DriveResponsibly for more information. Jabra also has provided tips on ways to make the road safer and what to look for when purchasing a hands-free headset or speakerphone.

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