“Keep your mind on your driving, keep your hands on the wheel, keep your snoopy eyes on the road ahead” goes the chorus of the 1959 song Seven Little Girls.

But in today’s cars the flirtatious driving distraction is just as likely to be online as in the car.

Telephone book and dialling, internet, full iPod display and Google searches are just a few of the distractions drivers face as dashboards go online.

Our recent research shows that using a smartphone while driving decreases reaction times by 38%, while 80% of participants in a recent survey admitted to doing it – 24% of whom were 17-24-year old drivers.

But many of the applications available on a smartphone can also be accessed via a car’s multimedia system on the move.

These new, high-tech features will undoubtedly make driving safer to some extent – hands-free phone calls, a direct alert to call emergency services in the event of an accident, and a satnav that doesn’t obscure your vision, but the temptation to use the additional features will always be there. The key is to learn to use them safely.

Set your satnav and playlists up before you move off. And pull over in a safe place, and turn the engine off before making any changes.

If you’re trying to do this on the move, not only are you not looking at the road, but you are thinking about whether or not you’d rather listen to Elton John or Jessie J rather than what’s happening around you.

Avoid the temptation to use any features that require input from the driver on the move. You may be running low on petrol, or getting peckish, but there is no excuse for using Google when you’re driving.

Plan your journey before you go to schedule in rest and petrol stops, and if you do need local information, the same goes, find somewhere safe to stop.

Get to grips with what the commands mean. Modern cars have a million and one possible features, but you will only get the best out of them if you spend some time getting to know them.

Be honest with yourself. The one thing most of have trouble resisting is temptation, so if you find it too distracting, turn it off.

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