Despite statistics and scientific studies highlighting the dangers of mobile phone use while driving, many drivers still admit to taking calls, texting and taking selfies behind the wheel.

Every year, according to the World Health Organisation, more than 1.25 million people die from road traffic collisions, and studies show that 94 percent of accidents are caused by driver error.

Distracted driving in the US accounts for almost a third of all crashes – while closer to home, traffic authorities in the UAE say that 19 percent of crashes could be linked back to drivers using their mobile phones to browse social media or take videos while driving.

More than 98 percent of drivers surveyed in Saudi Arabia admitted that they had used their phone while driving – 40 percent of drivers said that they read at least one text message a day, and 25 percent admitted to sending a text message while behind the wheel.

A recent study from the College of Applied Medical Sciences at King Saud University concluded that drivers were up to seven times more likely to have a crash while using their phone, and that receiving calls and text messages also increased the risk of serious accidents significantly.

Ford and its engineers have worked tirelessly on its SYNC 3 system to help keep drivers focused on the job at hand. SYNC 3 was named by Consumer Reports as one of the least distracting infotainment systems for drivers, with large well-labelled icons, quick responses, natural voice commands and large tuning and volume controls.

Here are five ways SYNC 3 can help you to keep your hands on the wheel so you stay safe on the road:

1) Bluetooth connectivity

Once paired, you can park your phone by leaving it in your pocket, bag or storage spot. SYNC 3 takes care of the rest, allowing for up to 11 phones to be paired with the system and two devices at the same time; one for phone services and one for media.

2) Voice-activated commands with full Arabic support

In addition to other languages Ford’s SYNC 3 supports, both text and voice activation, enabling simpler control for Arabic-speaking drivers. Virtually anything you can do by touch you can also do by voice, helping you to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

3) Simplified commands

Hands-free calling with dial commands that allow drivers to simply say ‘Call’ and then the name of the contact. Audio and media source commands are natural and non-restrictive, eliminating the need to say artist, song or album, before the desired selection. Drivers can access what they want to play from their USB device in just a few words.

Audio/​media source switching doesn’t require extra commands; they simply say the media source they want, such as AM, FM, USB, or Bluetooth Audio. The driver can even control the temperature inside the cabin through simple voice commands.

4) Audible incoming text messages and the reply of 15 pre-defined responses:

SYNC 3 will read your text messages for you (message and data rates may apply – phone must support downloading of text messages via Bluetooth to receive incoming text messages).

5) Smartphone integration

Smartphone integration has been stepped up with several fantastic new features, including Apple CarPlay, which allows iPhone users to do more including getting directions optimised for traffic conditions via voice control while the drivers’ eyes stay focused on the road.

The system is also compatible with Siri Eyes Free which allows for easy access to Siri with iPhones connected via Bluetooth. Android users are able to activate Android Auto, which makes the platform’s apps and services such as Google Search, Google Maps and Google Play Music accessible in a safe and seamless manner through SYNC 3.

SYNC 3 Apple Car Play also now fully supports Anghami streaming, meaning you can listen to your favourite artists, from Nancy Ajram to Ed Sheeran, through Ford’s in-car connectivity system.

Anghami is the first legal music streaming platform and digital distribution company in the Arab region, providing unlimited Arabic and international music to stream and download for offline listening.

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