Motoring News

Distracted driving: At last – an app to help cure phone temptation

JOHANNEBURG, South Africa – A rising challenge on global roads that’s posing just as large a challenge, as inebriated driving is distracted driving.

What’s that, you might well ask…

Well, many drivers don’t literally drink and drive but the same cannot be said about driving with a cellphone in one hand. Whether, asks MasterDrive, this is through a lack of understanding or appreciation of the danger, each driver needs to reduce its prevalence.

PUT IT DOWN! Now there;s a better way. Image: Suppied

Eugene Herbert, MD of MasterDrive, says the seriousness of distracted driving can be better understood by looking at statistics from recent studies…


“As many as 88% of drivers admit to checking for messages while driving even though this makes them 23 times more likely to crash. Ultimately, 94% of crashes are avoidable.

“Compared to inebriated driving, the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory reports that writing a text message slows reaction times by 35%; the reaction time of a driver whose blood alcohol concentration is at the legal limit is slowed by 12%. So’, distracted drivers are eight times more likely to have a crash, inebriated drivers four times more likely.

”This does not minimise the danger of alcohol before driving but emphasises how dangerous distracted driving really is.”

Herbert adds that using a phone while driving requires the brain to multitask – something Herbert says is impossible;;.

“The brain handles tasks sequentially but when you multitask by using your phone while driving it is impossible for your brain to adequately refocus on driving quickly enough to respond to a road hazard.”

READ MORE MasterDrive features on Carman’s Corner

The danger distracted driving presents, along with that it is almost impossible to avoid for some drivers, is what is making technology that assists in avoidance is so important.

MasterDrive is working alongside the developers of Ping, an app that eliminates the urge to read a text message or email while driving by automatically reading them out loud.

TOO HARD TO RESIST? Ping and MasterDrive believe they have the answer to distracted driving. Image: Supplied

Ping’s co-founder Barrie Arnold added: “Drivers receive a surge of dopamine to the brain when they hear a message. Even if they don’t look at their phone, they are often cognitively distracted by wondering from whom the message came – and whether it was urgent.

”We realised that the rising problem of technology distraction and addiction required a technology solution to reach the largest possible audience.”

Ping is also reported to be effective because it removes the frustration and wasted time that comes with not being able to access your phone while driving or when a time-sensitive message changes your plans. You can keep up to date with your communication and use the auto-response function to acknowledge urgent messages.”


MasterDrive, in association with Ping, is launching the app in South Africa in December 2020 as drivers travel one of the most dangerous periods on the roads. Since December 14 2020 drivers have been downloading the app from Google Play Store for a complimentary two-week trial.

Test the app so you can experience the safety benefits for yourself and your family.

”It is undeniable,” Herbert says,”that cellphone use is becoming a major challenge among road users. Lead the way in changing the situation through using Ping.”

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