Distracted driving is one of the highest causes of accidents on our roads today – and one of the most preventable.
While our government has been cracking down on the laws circulating this problem, people continue to partake in distracting activities while behind the wheel – perhaps taking a look at some of Canada’s distracted driving statistics will help us change our attitudes towards this dangerous behaviour.
Distracted Driving Statistics in Canada
First let’s take a look at some general statistics surrounding distracted driving in Canada:
- 80% of collisions that take place have some form distraction as a contributing factor
- 65% of ‘near’ crashes are due to lack of attention by the driver
- Distracted driving in Canada in its multiple forms is responsible for causing accidents every day
- 10% of fatal crashes are caused by distracted driving in Canada
- 18% of injury causing crashes are a result of distracted driving in Canada
- Distracted driving in Canada is statistically higher among teen drivers (age 15-19)
Now let’s take a look at some statistics regarding the number one cause of distracted driving in Canada – cell phones:
- Drivers engaged in manual interactions (Ie: texting) with their cell phones are 8x more likely to be involved in a crash
- Drivers conversing on their phones, even hands free, are 4x more likely to be involved in a crash
- Looking at your phone for a short 5 seconds, if you are moving at 90km/h, equates to blindly driving the length of a football field
- 26% of all accidents involve the use of a phone
While cell phones are the most common and dangerous cause of distracted driving in Canada, they are not the only things considered to be a distraction by law.
Eating or drinking, applying makeup, rummaging through your purse or wallet, speaking with other passengers in the vehicle, fiddling with your GPS or the radio, and lighting a cigarette are a few other examples of activities that can very easily and very quickly steal your attention from the road and your surroundings.
Distracted Driving Laws in Canada
The legislations regarding distracted driving in Canada vary between each province and territory in Canada, however each jurisdiction is beginning to implement more serious consequences for such offences.
In the Canadian Province of Alberta, the fine for distracted driving is $287, and is accompanied by a penalty of 3 demerits from your driving record.
Other provinces, such as British Columbia and Nova Scotia have a ladder style system – for accumulative offence in the period of one year the fine amount will increase.
Repeat offenders will also be subject to driving record reviews and could be faced with license suspension for a period of 3-12 months based on their driving history.
As you can see, our government does not take the threat of distracted driving lightly, and neither should you.
Think Before It’s Too Late
Distracted driving takes your eyes and mind off the road – do yourself and everyone else on the road a favour and think before doing anything that may take your attention of the road.
No text message, fast food item, tube of lipstick, etc. is more important than your life or the life of an innocent passerby.