8 ways to stay focused on the road

Woman distracted while driving

Nearly 3 out of 4 Canadian drivers admit to driving distracted. This is alarming. It also means that the driver in front of you, behind you and beside you has probably driven while being distracted. Scary thought, right?

Here is an even scarier one – you are 23 times more likely to crash if you engage in texting and driving. This is only the beginning of distracted driving stats and facts that you need to be aware of.

According to the MTO website, research demonstrates that “drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a collision than drivers who focus on the road. And when drivers take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds, their crash risk doubles.”

Here are some steps you can take to avoid being distracted while you drive.

1. Plan your route in advance. Program your GPS beforehand and turn up the volume so you don’t have to look at the screen for directions.

2.Get ready before you leave. You shouldn’t be straightening your tie, checking your teeth, or fixing your hair and makeup once you’re on the road.

3. Eat before or after your trip. It might be convenient, but snacking on the road splits your focus and prevents you from keeping both hands on the wheel.

4. Make yourself comfortable. Adjust the mirrors, seat, sound system, and climate controls before you leave so you don’t have to fiddle with them later.

5. Secure animals in the back. Pets should be harnessed or put in a crate to keep them safe and ensure they don’t block your view or bump into the steering wheel.

6. Put your phone on silent. If you don’t hear any notifications, you’ll be less tempted to check your phone. Place it out of reach for good measure.

7. Store your bags securely. This will prevent them from falling over. If items do end up rolling around on the floor, don’t reach for them while you’re driving.

8. Pull-over to help your kids. Reaching into the backseat to retrieve a toy or open a snack can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

To prevent car accidents, you need to remain alert. By following these precautions, you’ll help keep yourself, your passengers, and other road users safe.

 

ONTARIO DISTRACTED DRIVING STATISTICS

Here are some shocking statistics about distracted driving in the province :

  • Number One Cause of Accidents: According to the OPP, distracted driving is the number 1 cause of accidents in Ontario. It’s estimated that 8 in 10 accidents are caused by distraction.
  • Deaths Have Doubled: Deaths from collisions caused by distracted driving have doubled since 2000.
  • Person Injured Every 30 Mins: One person is injured from a distracted driving-related accident every 30 minutes.
  • Deaths Due To Inattentive Driving Are Rising: There were 65 deaths in 2016, 83 in 2017, and 692 since 2009 according to the OPP.
  • 4 Times More Likely To Crash: A driver using a phone is four times more likely to crash than a driver focusing on the road (source).
  • Thousands of crashes in Toronto: Its estimated distracted driving caused 7,435 accidents in Toronto alone in 2016.

 

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