We all understand the dangers and impact of driving under the influence of substances. However, there is a bigger menace nowadays….
Distracted driving is the diversion of attention from driving, as a result of the driver focusing on a non-driving object, activity, event or person. This reduces awareness and decision-making leading to the increased risk of driver error and/or crashes.
Things can happen in the blink of an eye when you aren’t focused on the road. Distracted driving puts you and others at risk – it doesn’t matter if you’re on the highway or stopped at a red light.
Here are some statistics regarding distracted driving:
- Drivers engaged in visual-manual interactions with cell phones (e.g., texting) are up to eight times as likely to be involved in a crash. (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2017)
- Checking a text for 5 seconds means that at 90 km/h, you’ve travelled the length of a football field blindfolded.
- Drivers conversing on mobile devices, either hands-free or hand-held are up to four times as likely to be involved in a crash. (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2017)
- Economic losses caused by traffic collision-related health care costs and lost productivity are at least $10 billion annually. That’s about 1% of Canada’s GDP! (Government of Canada)
To reduce distracted driving, you can do the following things:
- Plan your route in advance
- Put your cell phone away
- Avoid eating or drinking
- Getting enough rest before hitting the road
- On long drives, switch drivers
- Lower the volume on your music/radio
It’s extremely important to stay focused on the road for your safety and everyone else’s – drive safely out there!