Distracted Driving Tips
There are many hazards present while driving that become even more dangerous when a driver is distracted, causing them not to drive defensively. Here are some guidelines to follow to keep you and others safe on the road:
- Before taking off, put your cell phone on silent, turn it off completely, or put it in your glove compartment to resist the temptation to use it while driving
- If you need to use your phone urgently, completely pull off the road and park your car safely before making a call or sending a text message
- If you’re unsure of how to reach your destination, plan your route beforehand or have someone with you in the car to read you the directions
- Pre-set your radio stations or create your iPod playlist before you leave the house—ensure the volume doesn’t impede your ability to hear traffic, including vehicle horns and emergency vehicles
- If you can’t eat before you leave, park the car safely or take some time to dine in vs. eating while driving
- If you are going to be drinking alcohol, plan for a safe ride home ahead of time
Myth (M) or Truth (T)?
- Drivers using hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into a collision serious enough to cause injury over drivers who are focused on the road.
- Reading maps or other material while driving is considered a driver distraction.
- You should wait until you are fully stopped at a red light to use your cell phone to avoid receiving a ticket.
- When drivers use a hands-free phone, they are more aware of the traffic around them and react more quickly to danger.
- Drivers talking on cellphones are in many cases just as impaired as drunk drivers.
- Experienced drivers are better at handling cellphone distraction than novice drivers.
- It is okay to use your cellphone while driving as long as it does not take your focus off the road.
- Driver distraction is a factor in 8 out of 10 (about 4 million) car crashes in North America each year.
- Wearing a seatbelt can decrease your chances of being killed or seriously injured in a collision by as much as 50%.
- The penalty for distracted driving in Alberta is $300 and 3 demerit points.
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