There is an epidemic among Canadian drivers these days. It’s called distracted driving. With more focus on the subject than ever before and some form of legislation about cellphone use or distracted driving in nearly every province, drivers should be well aware of the dangers of distracted driving. Yet random observations on the road will show you that it still persists.
Distracted Driving - the #1 Road Safety Concern in Canada
For the first time, distracted driving has surpassed impaired driving as the number one road safety concern among Canadians.1 Here are some of the factors that are influencing insurance rates around Canada today:
- Nearly 80% of collisions and 65% of near-collisions involved some form of driver inattention up to three seconds prior to the event.2
- A driver is 23X more likely to be involved in a collision if texting while driving and 4X more likely to be involved in a collision if talking on a cellphone (hand-held or hands-free) while driving.3
- When distracted while driving, you may fail to see up to 50% of the available information in your driving environment. You may look but not actually “see” what is happening.4
How Can I Stay Safe?
The ability to multi-task should have no place behind the wheel. Follow these tips before hitting the road to maintain your focus while driving:
- Make sure children and/or pets are comfortable and secure.
- Stow and secure any loose objects in your car.
- Put your cellphone away in a place that will not be accessible for the remainder of the trip.
- Adjust your seat, headrest, seatbelt, rear-view and side mirrors, climate control and other dashboard controls.
- Be well rested. If you are out late and too tired to drive home, call a taxi or spend the night at a friend’s house nearby.
- Ask passengers to keep chatter to a minimum and help you navigate.
- Manage music preferences ahead of time (and only adjust them when stopped at a red light or stop sign).
- Check voicemails and text messages.
- Read maps and/or program the GPS route to your destination.
- Groom yourself.
- Consider your options if you’ll be driving a long distance. Plan to pull over somewhere safe if you need a break rather than be distracted on the road.
Don’t become the next statistic. Distracted driving is risky driving. Help put an end to it now.
1Source: IBC brochure DWD May Soon Be the New DUI