Statistics, facts and laws
Distracted driving causes needless accidents and deaths every year. The most common form is texting while driving. The following article will illustrate the different types of driving distractions, enlighten you about some alarming statistics on distracted driving and link the Canadian distracted driving laws for all provinces.
When a person wakes up in the morning they don’t say to themselves, “Gee, I think I will run a red light today” or “let’s see who I can piss off today”. If a person is driving poorly, it is usually the result of oblivious behaviour, they just don't realise what was wrong until it's too late. At times, for a multitude of reasons, we can get distracted. When this occurs, our driving suffers and accidents can happen. Current legislation has passed distracted driving laws in every province to save lives.
Focus on driving while driving! Yes, it sounds silly but in a split second, we can get distracted. We must stay alert: scan intersections, keep our eyes moving and anticipate others actions.
There are three main types of distraction:
While any of these distractions can endanger the driver and others, statistics prove that texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction.
Driving distractions come in many forms “before” we get in the vehicle:
Driving distractions come in many forms “after” we get in the vehicle:
The bottom line is anything that takes our attention away from driving may lead to an accident, injury or even death to you or others. Distracted driving laws have been put in place to protect Canadians. Don't let yourself become a distracted driver statistic: you must concentrate on the task at hand - Driving!
Anticipate others actions:
If you are being active and anticipating you will have a plan of what to do. To be proactive we need to be aware of what is 360° around our vehicle at all time and always have an escape route.
Know what is happening around the vehicle:
Intersections are high collision areas, don't get distracted here. Scan those intersections before you enter. When we say intersections, we mean all intersections!
Keep your eyes moving! At first it can be overwhelming looking well ahead and checking your mirrors. Scanning is so important:
Distracted driving laws dictate that ultimately, YOU are responsible for your driving!
Look at it like this: When you are looking, you are taking frames of information. All these frames make up a movie that is constantly being updated. You need to always be updating this movie with new frames. This is done by looking in the mirrors, scanning the road, looking well ahead. Taking all these individual frames helps make a complete picture of what is around your vehicle. Always update your movie!
Soon, it will become second nature and you will just be doing it and taking in information. It will become more relaxing and casual. You will begin to take in more information the more you practice. Being aware will save your life. Being a distracted driver can cause you or an innocent victim to lose their life. Being a good driver is more than being able to keep it between the lines.
Driving is truly one of the most awesome responsibility’s we will ever have and this requires maturity to recognize. It can be a key to our independence. The skills we learn must be consciously practiced every time we get behind the wheel or over time, we can develop “bad habits” that will distract you from driving. Distracted driving laws attach serious penalties to these "bad habits". Do not take these obligations lightly as the consequences of your actions can be life changing.
Statistics on Distracted Driving
80% of collisions and 65% of near crashes have some form of driver inattention as contributing factors (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2010)
International research shows that 20% to 30% of all collisions involve driver distraction (Alberta Transportation, 2011)
Distracted drivers are 3 times more likely to be in a crash than attentive drivers (Alberta Transportation, 2011)
For more information about distracted driving laws in your province, please click on Canadian distracted driving laws
It’s not whose fault the accident was, but how it could have been avoided.