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8 Ways To Avoid Distracted Driving

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Did you know? Drivers who are on their cell phones while driving are four times more likely to be in a collision.

Distracted Driving
Source: aaafoundation.org

Driving requires your full attention. If you want to be a good driver that cares about your own safety as well as the safety of those around you, keep your eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel while driving. By taking your eyes off the road to check your cell phone for the latest hockey score or to make your plans for the evening, you are putting yourself and others in harms way. When it comes to distracted driving, it doesn’t just mean you can’t talk on your handheld cell phone, it means that you can’t text, dial, email or engage in any other entertainment on your communication’s device. But distracted driving also includes personal grooming, eating, drinking and fatigue.

The only devices you are legally permitted to use while driving are hands-free devices – but what does hands free mean? If you don’t have to manipulate, touch or hold it while driving – other than to start and stop it, you are all good. So if you are thinking it’s okay to scroll through your contacts list to make a call while behind the wheel, think again because anything that requires you to look at or touch your phone does not qualify as handsfree. There are few exceptions to the rule. You can use hand-held devices, if you need to make a 911 call, are lawfully parked or off the roadway or if you are receiving or transmitting voice communication on a two-way, mobile radio or CB.

The cost of distracted driving

As of September, the penalties and fines for distracted driving have increased. If you are convicted of distracted driving while you are still a novice driver, you will face 30- or 90-day license suspension, or in severe cases, you could lose your license altogether and be removed from the graduated licensing system depending on the offence. If you are convicted of distracted driving as a fully licensed driver (Class A, B, C, D, E, F, G, M) – you could receive a fine of up to $1,000 and lose 3 demerit points. Aside from the fines and penalties above, more serious situations could occur – you could injure or kill yourself or others.

Here are 8 ways to avoid distracted driving:

  1. Don’t eat or drink while driving.
  2. Don’t smoke while driving.
  3. Let your phone calls go to voicemail.
  4. If you need to make or receive phone calls, wait until you are in a safe location to do so.
  5. Keep both hands on the wheel.
  6. If you are tired, pull off the road and take a nap at a rest stop or another accommodation.
  7. Check maps and directions ahead of time.
  8. Pre-program your GPS.

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Whether you’re driving your own vehicle or a commercial vehicle, be sure to say “NO” to distracted driving.

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