March 15th, 2017 - From cell phones and global positioning systems (GPS) to mp3
players and your morning coffee, distracted road users is an issue facing all Canadians.
Whether you are a driver, a motorcyclist, a pedestrian or a cyclist, road user distractions
Teens and young adults under 35 are the most frequent users of cell phones while
driving. Studies show that a driver using a cell phone is four times more likely
to be in a crash than a driver focused on the road. Other studies show that dialing
and texting carries the highest degree of risk of all cell phone-related activities.
A driver is 23 times more likely to get into a collision if they are texting or
typing behind the wheel. Text messaging takes driver's eyes away from the road for
4.6 seconds over a six-second interval. This compares to driving an entire length
of a football field without looking at the road while travelling 90 kilometers per/hour.
Canada Safety Council urges you to always make driving your first priority. Hands-free
is not risk free. When you're talking on a telephone, whether it's hands-free or
hands-held, the attention is to the conversation and less on the road. It's the
conversation, and the depth of the conversation, that's distracting. Don't let your
emotions or work get in the way of your safety and the safety of other road users
while behind the wheel.
Here are a few basic safety tips from Canada Safety Council:
- Avoid unnecessary distractions and always make the driving task your top priority.
- Keep both hands on the wheel or the handle bars and keep your eyes on the road and
looking for potential hazards.
- Turn your phone on silent so you are not tempted to answer it if you receive a call
or a message.
- Learn how to program and operate your hands-free device without the need to look
- Don't get so wrapped up in conversation that you drift into the other lane. Pull
off the road if safe and legal to do so; this is critical if it's an important or
- Keep conversations brief by telling the caller that you are driving so that you
can return your full attention to the task ASAP.
- Drive defensively; watch out for other road users who are not paying attention.
- Always be on the lookout for and yield to vulnerable road users, even if they don't
have the right-of-way.
- Be prepared for inexperienced and vulnerable road users to appear unexpectedly at
both intersection and non-intersection locations, on both urban and rural roadways.
- As a vulnerable road user it is important to be visible and predictable to others.