Distracted Driving

Family Driving Insurance

We know talking and texting is dangerous while driving. Every Canadian province has some form of ban for using hand-held electronic devices while driving. Although these laws are common knowledge, most people don’t take them seriously. Perhaps they feel they won’t get caught or it isn’t really that serious a law. Whatever their reasoning, education is required. Use of hand-held devices while driving is illegal in Ontario (in fact it comes with a hefty fine).
The Making Ontario Roads Safer Act will come into effect Sept. 1, bumping existing distracted driving penalties to $490 and three demerit points. Novice drivers with G1, G2, M1 and M2 licences who are convicted of distracted driving will be suspended for 30 days on a first offence and 60 days for a second offence. A third offence will lead to the cancellation of their licences.
This includes talking on hand-held cell phones, texting, e-mailing and using hand-held electronic entertainment devices such as iPods and PlayStation Portables. A factor in up to 80% of vehicle collisions in North America, it’s important to obey the law! We are in an age where insurance premiums are rising and getting into an accident because you are distracted is not fair to anyone – especially the people you hit.


Distracted Driving Acumen Insurance

Fines for distracted driving are going up, in conjunction with enhanced enforcement. File Photo by Jeff Tribe- National Post


Tips to avoid driver distraction:

Avoid intense, complicated or emotional conversations when driving – This can be tough but make an effort to pull over and/or continue the conversation at a later time – both parties can benefit from the break…


Pull over to care for children – Set up rules with your passengers to keep them from distracting you. Give kids things to do, such as books and games. Books on tape are also great, but provide earphones so the noise won't distract you. For longer trips, plan where to stop for breaks. This helps everyone re-focus before getting back in the vehicle.


Adjust your seat, climate controls and other devices before pulling out – thank goodness for automatic controls  – if you don’t have them, then try to set them prior to pulling out…


Ask your passengers to help navigate or adjust controls – this is great practice for articulating your thoughts and communication with others…


If you feel sleepy, find a safe place to pull over and rest.


Turn off your cell phone or pull over in a safe place if you must take a call


Eating while Driving Distracted Driving Acumen Insuance

Stop to eat or drink – There are many things that can take your thoughts away from driving. Drinking coffee or water or eating takes very little thought. You rarely have to look away from the driving scene. However, if you spill on yourself, that’s another story. You’ll look down and think about what to do next. Now your thoughts have changed. Suggestion: Wait until you’re stopped before you drink or eat. It can wait.


Read maps, and check traffic and exits before you leave so you’re prepared  – by having an idea as to where you are going, you can get there quicker and once you are in the general vicinity, you can look up the specific location


Teach teens to limit distractions while driving.


Source Insurance Bureau of Canada


Did you know?

Talking on cell phones (hand-held or hands-free) while driving makes you four times more likely to crash. If you text while driving, you are just as impaired as someone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .125 (the legal limit is .08).