April is Distracted Driving Month

April 09, 2018

There is nothing like a fun, harmless, well-planned prank between friends or family on April Fools to start the month off right. For example, exploring the use of a new emoji’s is a harmless activity. But exploring new emoji’s while behind the wheel? That’s very different and deadly story.

Distracted Driving Month

April is distracted driving month, and new regulations are taking effect in Ontario. The new rules will mean an automatic driver’s licence suspension for convicted distracted drivers in Ontario. The fines are also increasing from a maximum of $1,000 on a first conviction, $2,000 for a second, and $3,000 for a third. Distracted driving costs you more than just financially, you could see six demerit points for multiple offences.

The danger that distracted drivers create on the road has financial implications. If you are a distracted driver you can expect to see your auto insurance increase. Who doesn’t want to live longer and save money – especially when all it takes is treating the road and your fellow drivers with respect?

What is distracted driving?

But what counts as distracted driving? If you are using your phone to talk, text, set your GPS, or anything else that requires you to take so much as one hand of the steering wheel, then you are distracted.

Here’s what you can use:

  1. A hands-free device (like Bluetooth), but only to turn it on and off.
  2. A mounted device (like a GPS), but it must be secure, and any data must be input while the car is parked.

Things happen quickly on the road. Without your eyes surveying traffic and your hands ready to react, you are at risk of becoming another statistic. In Ontario, deaths from collisions caused by distracted driving have doubled since 2000. Something else to consider is that a driver using a phone is four (4) times more likely to crash than a driver who is focusing on the road. In 2013, one person was injured in a distracted driving related collision every 30 minutes. That’s every 30 minutes, sun up, sun down, with no time off for the holidays. Why risk being a part of that relentless, terrifying statistic?

Don’t be that person

Think about it this way – your friend calls you and asks if you can help them pick up their new pet from the pet store. Being a good friend, you jump at the opportunity to help out and be around a new pet. You get in their car, and they introduce Gilbert to you. Gilbert is a 900-kilo great white shark. Now what do you do? Chances are you immediately hop out of the car, right? Sharks are dangerous! You’d be crazy to stay in that car. But here’s the thing, the chance of you being attacked and killed by a shark is 1 in 3,748,067. Comparatively, you have a 1 in 84 chance of being killed in a car accident. To put that in perspective, Gilbert could bring 45,000 of his closest friends, and would have only evened the odds. And that’s all without even considering that a distracted driver is 4 times more likely to get into a crash.

Can you imagine how dangerous that is? Every time your friend pulls out their phone while behind the wheel, you may as well be surrounded by 200,000 sharks. And here’s the thing – it’s not just your friend who is in danger, or you. But everyone else out there. Distracted driving ruins the beach, so to speak. So why not do your part? Dodge the sharknado, and ditch distracted driving.

If you know a distracted driver, we aren’t saying you should ship them 200,000 sharks. But maybe you should forward them this article.