1. If you connect your iPod or phone to your car to listen to music, make sure you have connected the device before you set off. You should not change songs whilst driving as you will be forced to take your eyes off the road. Note: It’s illegal to use a cellular device while driving at any time in NZ for any reason, except hands free calls (which we also do not recommend!).
  2. A multi-function steering wheel can be used to adjust the volume or change CDs – if you have this facility use it where possible as it will help reduce distraction. Familiarise yourself with the controls before you set off so you don’t need to take your eyes off the road.
  3. Having music playing too loudly can also take your mind off the task of driving. Also avoid playing music that makes you drive faster – tunes with a strong, driving beat might make you speed up without realising it is happening.
  4. Where children get quickly bored on long journeys a rear seat DVD player can keep them occupied – but make sure they have a set of headphones so the sound doesn’t distract the driver.
  5. Although a Bluetooth feature is available in most modern cars, we strongly advise you don’t use it to talk when you’re driving – research tells us that this is a major distraction – and remember, it’s illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving.
  6. If you have an interactive touch screen with an in-built satellite navigation system, programme all your destination details before you start your journey or while you have stopped safely, the same as you should for a portable satnav.

This is an extract from an article written by the IAM

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