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Distracted Driving

 

Distracted driving kills. It is a factor in four million motor vehicle crashes in North America each year. It is illegal to talk, text or type using handheld devices while driving in Ontario. Hands-free use is permitted.

Three types of distracted driving

  1. Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel
  2. Visual: Taking your eyes off the road
  3. Cognitive: Taking your mind off driving

Did you know?

  • Sending/reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. At 80 km/h, that's like driving the length of an entire football field blindfolded.
  • Texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near-crash event compared with non-distracted drivers.
  • People in their late 30s to early 40s are most charged with distracted driving.
  • Hands-free phone conversations are classified as distracting. Drivers may miss important traffic/road visual and audio cues.

Texting and driving

Texting and driving is illegal and can have serious negative consequences. Texting involves the three types of distraction that were described above – manual, visual and cognitive. Texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near-crash event compared with non-distracted drivers (VTTI, 2010).

Tips to prevent texting and driving

  • Send texts before getting in the vehicle.
  • Turn off your phone or place it in the glove compartment before turning on the ignition.
  • Appoint a passenger as “designated texter” to handle messages for you.
  • Pull off the road and stop the car if you must text.
  • Model good behaviour and talk about distracted driving with your family.
  • As a passenger, ensure that drivers follow this guide.

What is distracted driving?

  • Adjusting music
  • Applying makeup
  • Daydreaming
  • Dialing a number
  • Eating or drinking
  • Looking at a car collision while passing
  • Looking at maps/directions
  • Making a phone call
  • Reaching for something
  • Sending a text/email
  • Taking eyes off the road
  • Taking hands off the wheel
  • Talking to passengers
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video

Distracted Driving in Our Region

  • Halton Regional Police Services laid 4,170 distracted driving charges in 2015
  • Most of the charges were in Burlington (51%)
  • Men accounted for 59% of those charged
  • The median age for those charged was 40 years of age for men and 37 years of age for women
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