With the holiday season upon us, law enforcement agencies across the country will once again remind us about the dangers of impaired driving. But here’s a startling statistic to which drivers should pay close attention. In an estimated eight out of every 10 police-reported accidents, driver distraction is a contributing factor.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada’s award-winning Be Smart. Be Safe. campaign is designed to help families lead safer lives on the road, at home and at play. Among the publications available on their website is a brochure that encourages all drivers to stop distracted driving. The statistics reported are indeed eye-opening:
• Talking on a cellphone while driving, whether hand-held or hands-free, makes you four times more likely to crash.
• Texting while driving makes you just as impaired as someone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .125,
compared to the legal BAC of .08.
Think of all that a driver needs to be aware of behind the wheel, including other vehicles, signs, signals, pedestrians, passengers, road and weather conditions. And consider that at only 50 km/h, your vehicle will cover 45 feet in one second. It’s easy to see that distracted driving equals dangerous driving.
Be Smart. Be Safe. offers their Top 10 Tips to help eliminate distracted driving:
10.Ask passengers to keep chatter to a minimum and help you navigate.
9.Deal with distractions such as eating, putting on make-up, reading, combing your hair and checking messages
before you hit the road.
8.Be well rested before getting behind the wheel.
7.Make sure you have clear directions and check them before you leave.
6.Adjust the seat, headrest, seatbelt, rearview mirror, temperature, radio, etc., to your liking before you drive.
5.Manage your music and dashboard controls ahead of time and adjust them only when the car is stopped.
4.Pull over somewhere safe if you need to make a call, check a message, deal with passengers, eat or drink, etc.
3.Tell everyone that for safety reasons, you no longer answer calls or respond to messages while driving.
2.Don’t answer your cellphone or PDA messages while you are driving. Better yet, turn these devices off when
you get into your car.
1.Never text and drive! Texting takes your eyes and mind off the road and your hands off the wheel.
Decide today that you won't drive distracted. And click here for more information on the Be Smart. Be Safe. campaign.
CARP's Exclusive Auto & Home Insurance Program offered by The McLennan Group Insurance Inc. is underwritten by Lombard Insurance Company, Lombard General Insurance Company of Canada, Traders General Insurance Company or Zenith Insurance Company, depending on your province of residence. Premiums and eligibility for group program will vary for specific drivers depending upon individual factors. Group rates and certain products may not be available in all jurisdictions due to provincial law. Please refer to your policy or call the toll-free number above for details.