Distracted driving is one of the top causes of motor vehicle accidents and cell phones are a huge part of that equation. We’ve known for a long time that cell phone use behind the dangerous, yet it’s a problem that continues to grow as more drivers hit the roads with their phones. Keep reading to learn more about the risks and consequences of distracted driving.
By the numbers
It’s not simply a hunch that cell phone use makes for worse drivers. Many studies have been conducted over the past decade or more that show a direct correlation between cell phone use and motor vehicle accidents.
- Approximately 80% of vehicle collisions and 65% of near incidents are due to the driver being distracted. This makes it the number one cause of traffic collisions in North America
- Drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision. Drivers talking on their phones (both hand-held and hands-free) are four times more likely to be involved in an accident.
- Distracted driving now causes more deaths than impaired driving. Even more alarming is that while drunk driving rates are falling after years of campaigning and awareness, rates of distracted driving are increasing.
Distracted driving laws
Transport Canada has discouraged drivers from using their phones behind the wheel for years. Though driving and traffic laws are not under federal jurisdiction, provincial governments have followed Transport Canada’s recommendations. As of June 1, 2016, all provinces and territories except for Nunavut have laws in place against using hand-held cell phones while driving. A number of provinces even have laws in place to prevent new drivers from using hands-free devices as well.
Penalties range from $80 for a first offense all the way up to $1,200, with anywhere between 3 to 5 demerits assigned against the diver. Drivers who are frequent offenders may also face license suspension, vehicle impoundment, and/or mandatory driver training programs.
Accidents involving distracted driving are entirely preventable. Remember, there is never a good time to talk on the phone when you’re behind the wheel. Wait until you reach your destination, or safely pull over to have the conversation.
Have you been injured as a result of a distracted driving incident? Our legal team has over 25 years of experience in handling car accident injury claims. Contact the team at Martin G Schulz & Associates today.