2 reasons not to drive while distracted and 1 wallpaper to help
March 29, 2023
Quick question: Last week, how many times did you finish a drive without being distracted by something around your seat? We know how important it is to stay focused behind the wheel, but knowing is easier than doing. To help with the doing part, here are two reasons to avoid distracted driving that you might not have known about — plus a nice new wallpaper for your phone:
1. Enforcement against distracted driving is going up
Police across the province are now cracking down on distracted drivers. If caught, you'll have to pay a fine of $368. If you get two distracted driving tickets in a three-year period, you'll also be charged a Driver Risk Premium on your insurance; which could end up costing you thousands. So the next time you're thinking about taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road while driving, ask yourself if that's really worth the hit to your wallet.
Of course, a hit to the wallet or bank account is nothing compared to the worst that could happen because of distracted driving. On average, distracted and inattentive driving is a leading cause of car crash fatalities with 77 deaths each year. So why risk it? Avoid looking at or interacting with screens while driving, even if you're using your phone hands-free. Reaching for objects around the floor, glove box or back seat could also lead to a crash. The best strategy is to ready everything you need before getting on the road.
2. Distractions hurt longer than you think
A 2014 study from the Louisiana Transportation Research Center, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Alabama in Huntsville found that texting impacted driving ability for 3.35 seconds after the texting was over (Thapa, Codjoe & Ishak). This means distractions keep distracting you even after you think you've dealt with them. For example, people at a red light or stuck in heavy traffic might keep an eye on the light or the next car while doing something else. But even after the light turns green or the next car inches forward and they put away the distraction, their focus still won't fully return until several seconds later. When at an intersection or surrounded by other frustrated drivers, those several seconds are more than enough to cause a crash.
Remember that when you're at a red light or stuck in heavy traffic, you're still driving and must still be aware of what's going on around you. Even if you know where the other vehicles are, you're less likely to see pedestrians and cyclists when distracted by your phone or in-dash screens. If your phone has a habit of buzzing or ringing while you're driving, set it to Do Not Disturb mode and put it away.
A wallpaper to help drive safe
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, temptation prevails and one hand inches towards the phone while the other tries to steady the wheel. In times like that, it's helpful to have a visual reminder that you should #LeaveYourPhoneAlone while driving. Download this free wallpaper for use on your mobile device. To learn more, check out the facts about distracted driving.
Download the wallpaper here.