Data shows that distraction is responsible for more road fatalities than impaired driving.1 Texting is the main culprit, to be sure, but there are many other ways that your attention can be pulled from the road ahead of you. These are some things you need to do if you’re behind the wheel.
- Put your smartphone away: We all know the dangers. According to the Canadian Automobile Association, texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident than a driver who’s paying attention to the road.2 Reduce temptation by keeping your smartphone out of sight, and turn the ringer off.
- Pull over if you need to talk: Talking on the phone, including hands-free phones accounts for about 26% of all car crashes.2
- Preprogram your GPS: Plan your route and how long it will take to get you there. Program your GPS before you leave, and turn the voice feature on.
- Turn the music down: Music should never be so loud that you can’t hear a siren or someone honking.
- Secure objects: Place loose items (purse, backpacks) in the trunk or behind the seat so that items inside don’t go flying if you have to brake suddenly.
- Limit passenger distraction: Kids in the back seat. Talkative passengers. A restless pet. These are all common distractions. Try to keep conversations to a minimum, give your kids plenty to do before you head out, and pull over if you need to deal with something physically.
- Don’t drive if you are tired: Make sure you get enough sleep before you go on a trip. Switch drivers every few hours. Drive during daylight hours when possible. Avoid driving if you’re on medication that makes you drowsy.
Save a life, save money
Apart from the danger to you and others, distracted driving can be costly. Across Canada, fines can range from $80 to $1200 and cost drivers 3-5 demerit points. If convicted, you will see a big increase in your auto insurance premium, and if you have an accident resulting from distracted driving, you could see your premium increase even more.
Why engage in risky behavior that can lead to fines, injury or loss of human life? Don’t take chances. Know the risks, educate yourself and others, and do what it takes to put an end to this dangerous behaviour.
This article is based on information provided by CDSPI’s Home & Auto Insurance partner, The Personal Insurance Company.
CDSPI Home and Auto Insurance is underwritten by The Personal Insurance Company and distributed by CDSPI Advisory Services Inc. Home Insurance is not currently available to residents of Quebec. Auto Insurance is not available to residents of Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.