How your cell phone can help you stay safe on SA’s roads this Easter

With South Africans set to stream to their favourite holiday destinations for the Easter break, many motorists will be navigating the dangers of the country’s roads.

March 15, 2012

With South Africans set to stream to their favourite holiday destinations for the Easter break, many motorists will be navigating the dangers of the country’s roads. There are many unsafe situations which you need to manage as you take your family on holiday – from smash-and-grab hotspots, to areas where accidents are common due to poor visibility, road works or insufficient road maintenance.

Your cell phone can help you navigate these dangers, if fitted with the correct applications and services. “Location-based services (LBS) on your cell phone can be a lifesaver in potentially dangerous situations” says Jacques Swanepoel, Managing Director or Cellfind, a member of Blue Label Mobile.

LBS services help you stay in touch with your loved ones while you’re on the road and are especially practical if you are travelling at night, need to make an unavoidable trip through a dangerous area, or are embarking on a long journey. By using LBS services like Vodacom look 4 me & MTN WhereRU, your loved ones can checkup on you without the distraction of a phone call while driving. They can request your location by sending a query using SMS, USSD or by visiting a website. Your position is determined by locating your cell phone using cellular towers and the information is sent back as text or a map.

Swanepoel says that LBS services like Vodacom look 4 me & MTN 2MyAid turn your cell phone into a panic button, summoning help when you need it most. With the press of an assigned speed dial, your location is established and the information is sent via SMS to your 4 pre-determined emergency contacts.

These services require no additional software, can be accessed from any cell phone and are available at an affordable monthly fee.

Cellfind offers the following additional tips for safe driving with your cell phone this Easter:
• Ensure that your cell phone battery is fully charged before embarking on your journey and consider investing in a car charger
• Install a hands-free car kit or buy an earpiece so that you can talk safely on your phone while you’re driving
• Use GPS – whether a dedicated device or GPS software for your cell phone, plan your route for long or unfamiliar destinations