The risks of distracted driving go beyond smartphones and texting. Anytime a driver’s attention is not fully focused on the road, it can affect their judgement and increase the risk of a collision. Research suggests that distracted driving is a factor in one in every four crashes. Behind the wheel, we need to Drive out Distraction and focus on safety.
What’s the risk?
Two seconds is all it takes to double your risk of a collision. Texting while driving? Your eyes are off the road for an average of five seconds, increasing your risk of a crash by 23 times. Yet, it’s still the most common cause of distraction among drivers.
Other common distractions include:
- Using a GPS
- Changing music or radio stations
- Minding children
- Eating and drinking
- Putting on make-up and personal grooming
Stay focused on the road
Despite increased fines and escalating enforcement, we’ve yet to see real change in distracted driving habits. There’s much that needs to be done.
In partnership with the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF,) a world-leader in research and development, the Co-operators have a plan of action to raise awareness and encourage Canadians to change their driving habits. Their program, Drive out Distraction, will play an active role in the national conversation and focus on combatting distracted driving.
Together, Co-operators have released a report entitled Distracted Driving in Canada: Making Progress; Taking Action. The report, led by TIRF in partnership with Drop It and Drive, provides a snapshot of distracted driving across Canada. Although there’s a great deal of activity underway in Canada related to distracted driving, a gap in dedicated co-ordination and communication continues to exist.
This environmental scan provides an overview of current legislation, penalties, awareness campaigns, and statistics. It serves as a foundation on which future initiatives may be planned and co-ordinated across interested organizations.
As part of the Drive out Distraction program, Co-operators are also pushing for change with OneTap, a free smartphone app that helps reduce phone-related distractions. Together, they hope to reduce the risk of distracted driving and safely share our roads.
Source: Co-operators Group Insurance