Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Face your phone down

Face It Down phone road safety

Michael Gaynor, Marketing Director, Toyota Ireland and Niall Breslin, Toyota Ireland Ambassador pictured as Toyota Ireland launch the Face It Down app. Photo: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Toyota Ireland has launched a new mobile app that is designed to save lives on Ireland’s roads by changing driver behaviour.

Face It Down, a partnership with the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and Topaz, is available on iOS and Android. The app rewards drivers who place their phone face down while driving with points that can be redeemed for complimentary hot drinks at Re Store locations.

Checking texts, calls, Snapchats etc. is highly distracting and very dangerous – global research by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) indicates that texting while driving makes it 23 times more likely that you’ll have a crash.

“Distracted driving could be a factor in as many 20-30% of all collisions in this country. However, the biggest distraction for drivers is the mobile,” said Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive with the RSA. “Despite the fact that using them when driving is killing people on Irish roads, rational, intelligent people continue to text, make phone calls, take selfies or update their social pages while driving. When you use your mobile behind the wheel, taking your mind and eyes off the road for just a split second can destroy everything forever. ”


The app is being supported by a number of well-known faces, including Blathnaid Treacy, Eoghan McDermott, Triona McCarthy and Toyota brand ambassador Niall Breslin. “We all know the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving so it’s great that drivers will now get rewarded for not using their phone. This simple act can make such a difference to road safety in Ireland that’s why I would encourage all drivers to use Toyota’s Face It Down app,” Breslin said.

To earn your points, download the app, launch it before you leave, and place your phone face down. Points are earned for every kilometre you travel without picking up your phone, and you’ll get a free drink for roughly every 350km you travel. And you’ll have a greater chance of arriving at your destination alive. Sounds like a win-win.

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When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.