Man uses mobile phone while driving, distracted

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

DF SafetyHealth and Safety Tips

The weather is improving, the snow is slowly melting, the sunshine is beaming, and many people will be taking advantage of higher temperatures! This means that road and street traffic is likely to increase, especially with young children, families, and dogs heading outside to enjoy spring. During the winter months, when snow is falling and conditions aren’t ideal, it is easy to stay attentive while driving. However, sometimes during the warmer months, drivers may not be as focused on the road and may be more likely to be distracted.  

Today, we would like to chat about a few things to keep in mind to keep our roads safe for everyone. 

According to CAA, more than 90% of Canadians said people using their phones while driving is a serious threat to their safety, and nearly 79% of drivers admit to doing something while driving that is distracting; most often being in-vehicle technologies. 

There are several things you can do before setting out on the road to ensure your hands are always dedicated to the steering wheel, and that your eyes are set on the road.  

Prepare ahead 

Before you drive, ensure you have everything you need. If you require something like maps, or in vehicle navigation, make sure to set this before you leave your destination. If travelling with children (especially little ones!) set them up with everything they need such as snacks, activities, or a device.  

If you are planning on listening to music or a podcast, set up your Bluetooth before you begin driving. If, for any reason you know you may be distracted, safely pull over and complete the task. 

Ignore technology 

Having our phones at our fingertips is certainly a bonus. However, this is not the case when driving. You should never text, read an email, check social media, or take your eyes (or hands) off the wheel for any circumstance when operating a motor vehicle. Using your Bluetooth to answer a phone call is a better solution but be sure to limit phone calls since they can be distracting as well. 

Focus on driving 

I am sure we have all been stuck at a redlight and witnessed people doing some interesting things in their car. From applying makeup to eating a sandwich, doing these types of activities while driving is dangerous. When you are the driver, your priority is to keep your hands on the wheel, and your eyes on the road. Therefore, avoid doing any other activities while driving.  

Not only is distracted driving dangerous to you, and to others, it can be a costly mistake as well. The Government of Alberta website states that the penalty for distracted driving in Alberta is a $300 fine, and 3 demerit points.  

While it can be tempting, we assure you that your wallet, and your well-being, will thank you by avoiding distracted driving. 

Stay safe on the roads this spring! 

For more information, we have a course on Distracted Driving Awareness Training available online.