We’re all busier than ever before, which is why we’ve become more reliant on the latest technology. Technology provides convenience. With new smartphones coming, every month it seems, the things they allow us to do are amazing. While we may feel more connected with our smartphones we’ve become more distracted and more disconnected with our surroundings. This is especially dangerous when driving a car, truck, bus or construction equipment.
Here's a Texting and Driving video by the Ontario medical Association:
If the video doesn't play you can hit this link to view on youtube.
The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario has just recently increased the fines for distracted driving. They now range from $300 to $1,000 and each infraction now gives three demerit points upon conviction. Everyone can understand the reasoning behind increasing the fines. Driving is a complex job, which, to do properly, requires concentration on the world around you. Other vehicles, lights, animals, and pedestrians all require you to be aware of what you are doing when behind the wheel. So, why are we so distracted? The answer can be partly explained by the comfort level of the driver – sometimes people look at driving as an everyday thing. It’s easy to become complacent and so you cheat a little.
Related Read: Your Car is a Write-Off. Now What Happens?
Here’s a Little Refresher
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police defines distracted driving as “a form of impaired driving as a driver’s judgment is compromised when they are not fully focused on the road.” Using handheld devices such as phones or laptops, reading, grooming, eating or drinking and tending to pets or children while driving could lead to you being charged with distracted driving. Why? Because these kinds of distractions impede your ability to judge speeds and distances, respond to other drivers and pedestrians, and to follow traffic signs and signals.
According to the Ontario Provincial Police distracted driving is cited as a causal factor in 30 to 50 percent of traffic collisions in Ontario. This is likely a conservative estimate due to under-reporting of accidents and incidents.
Not Convinced Yet?
Here are some more distracted driving facts from the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario:
- By 2016, if the collision trends continue as they are, fatalities from distracted driving are forecasted to exceed those from drinking and driving
- Drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a collision than a driver who is focused on the road
- Drivers who use a cell phone while driving react 18 percent slower
What Can You Do?
Here are some things to consider before you take that next drive.
- Speeding reduces your reaction time, drive the speed limit.
- While driving turn off your smartphone alerts. If you don’t hear the new email alert or the phone ring you won’t be tempted to answer it while driving.
- If you must take a call make sure you are using hands free technology.
- In fact it’s best to pull off the street altogether as even having a conversation over the phone while driving is distracting.
At Erb and Erb Insurance Brokers Ltd. we know that more traffic tickets makes your car insurance more expensive. Distracted driving kills. You control how you drive. It’s time for us all to be responsible drivers.
Do you have any safety tips for driving? Please share your thoughts below.
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Thanks for reading and safe driving!