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Preventing Distracted Driving

What are the risks?

The following content comes from the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.

A recent study shows that when drivers take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds their crash risk doubles. A driver using a cell phone is four times more likely to be in a crash than a driver focused on the road.

In three seconds driving sixty kilometres per hour you travel fifty metres ‘” that’s the distance across half a football field. A momentary distraction can result in death or serious injury.

More studies on the dangers of driver distraction can be found here.

Reducing Distractions

There are a number of potential driver distractions and these may include:

  • devices such as hand-held cell phones, organizers and laptops
  • reading maps or other material
  • grooming activities
  • eating or drinking
  • tending to children or pets

Managing distractions is easy. The following are some tips to help reduce driver distraction:

  • Make it a habit to use your cell phone only when parked, have a passenger take the call or let the caller go to voice mail.
  • Before you start driving turn off your cellular phone.
  • Identify and preset your vehicle’s climate control, radio and CD player.
  • Attend to personal grooming and plan your route before leaving.
  • When hungry or thirsty, take a break.

In Emergencies

Having a cellular phone in your vehicle can be an important safety aid for drivers and passengers ‘” whether for personal safety or for reporting a crime or a collision.

All drivers may use hand-held devices to call 9-1-1

If you need to use your cell phone in an emergency ‘” a situation that could result in a danger to your safety or the safety of others if it is not corrected without delay ‘” consider the following tips:

  • Pull over safely if conditions allow.
  • Keep emergency calls as brief as possible.
  • Alert the caller that you are on the road.
  • End conversations immediately if driving conditions or situations become hazardous (for example, inclement weather, roadway construction, high-speed or high-volume traffic).
  • Be alert to situations on the road where a cell phone’s radio frequency and electronics may be potentially harmful such as: construction zones where blasting is occurring, or at gas stations/fueling areas.
  • For more information please click on the following link to go the to the Ministry of Transportaion website.

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