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
- Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel
- Visual: Taking your eyes off the road
- 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.