If there is one person who knows the importance of staying protected behind the wheel, it is Oscar Piastri. The 22-year-old Formula 1 star has emerged as one of the hottest properties in world sport, courtesy of a breakout debut year at McLaren that netted him two podiums and Rookie of the Year honours, but it didn’t come without risk. Travelling at speeds in excess of 350 km/h, one false move on the track could spell serious danger and Piastri is not one to leave things to chance.
“It’s a very important thing for all of us in Formula One to feel safe,” Piastri explains. “Of course, as a sport, we’ve made leaps and bounds on the safety front in the last 10 years, especially the last three or four years, and now Formula One is as safe as it’s ever been. Whether it’s the regulations, the engines, or safety, it’s always important, but what is most important is being able to translate that to the real world.”
In a bold move, the F1 young gun has unveiled a new mission to help change the discourse around on-road safety and after the ‘deadliest year‘ on Australian roads in more than half a decade, he’s right on track. Teaming up with leading adventure brand Quad Lock for the third straight year, Piastri is helping to helm the new ‘Keep Your Hands Off It’ campaign. The collaborative initiative is aimed at emphasising the dangers of mobile phone use while driving and encouraging Aussies to stay focused on the road.
“As a professional driver, safety has always been paramount to me, both on and off the track,” Piastri says. “Unfortunately, a surge in road incidents often accompanies the holiday season, and I believe it’s crucial to address unsafe phone use, a preventable factor in many accidents.”
To put Piastri’s words into perspective, recent data from Transport NSW revealed that there were 191 casualties between 2012-2019 involving a driver or rider using a handheld mobile phone, while authorities handed out a whopping 360,000 mobile phone infringements in 2022 alone.
Curbing this dangerous trend was a big reason why Quad Lock co-founder Rob Ward started the smartphone mounting system business in the first place. His goal was to create a tool that would not distract or obscure the driver’s view in any way, whilst also adhering to local laws. A decade on, Ward has created a smartphone mounting empire that includes mounts for motorcycling, driving, cycling, marine and aviation. Encouragingly, Ward explained that the Quad Lock’s ‘Drive’ category of fixed mounting systems has experienced the highest growth in Australia, up 50 per cent year on year, as more people lock to prioritise on-road safety.
“Quad Lock has always been at the forefront of promoting safe and secure mounting of smartphone devices,” Ward says. “Quad Lock sales data and the notable growth of the ‘Drive’ category tells a promising story that Aussies are in fact listening. This is encouraging, and we hope that through focused messages such as this, we can continue to improve driver safety as a nation.”
Completely eradicating crashes on the road may be an impossible task, but Piastri and Quad Lock are wisely focusing on risk mitigation, and it comes at a poignant time. As a 2023 report from the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) confirmed, the silly season is inherently linked to an increase in road accidents. This year, Piastri is urging Aussies to stop scrolling and texting while driving, particularly leading into December.
“This campaign is very important because we want the road to be as safe as possible,” Piastri said. “As you navigate your adventure this Aussie summer, make sure your phone is securely mounted.”
For more information on the new ‘Keep Your Hands Off It’ campaign or to see Quad Lock’s range of smartphone and handheld mounting systems, visit the store below.
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