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A South African man has proved that yakking on your mobile while driving may not be the threat to road safety many claim it is. In fact, it could save your life.

André Steyn owes his current wellbeing to his mobile phone after the selfless device took a bullet for the merchant during an attempted hijack.

In early May, Steyn was travelling outside Johannesburg in a four-ton truck and trailer when a gang of would-be hijackers opened fire: "I heard a 'doof-doof' sound and one of my colleagues shouted 'they are shooting at us!' Alongside the truck was a bright red car with a man hanging out the window. I saw a flash and after the second shot I felt a pain in my hand," Steyn later recounted.

In fact, a bullet passed straight through Steyn's hand and would have done some serious damage to his temple had his mobile phone not intervened. Steyn then thwarted the hijack by forcing the attackers' car onto a roadside embankment, although they subsequently escaped.

Despite two bouts of surgery on his hand, Steyn is understandably full of praise for his departed mobile, noting: "At least I know who my angel is: it must be Nokia."

Steyn now packs a 6610i. The model of its bullet-proof predecessor is not noted. ®

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