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Distracted driving claims thousands of lives each year. According to Alberta Transportation, 20 to 30 per cent of accidents involve some type of driver distraction.
Alberta’s Bill 16, which passed in 2011, has legislated that distracted drivers receive a heavy fine for violations. And across North America, lawmakers continue to look for ways to eliminate distracted driving.
It’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month in the U.S, with the National Safety Council (NSC) behind the initiative. Distracted driving is dangerous no matter where you are, so there are need-to-knows for all those behind the wheel.
The Ability to Multitask is a Myth
The brain easily switches between tasks, but can only focus on one at a time. Activity in the area of the brain that processes moving images while driving decreases when drivers are listening or talking. This means operating any type of electronic device including cellphones while driving is dangerous.
Here are some important statistics from the NSC:
- At any one time, nine per cent of all drivers are on the phone
- Up to 90 per cent of all accidents are the result of driver error, not mechanical or environmental factors
- Nearly 26 per cent of all vehicle accidents involve the use of cellphones, including hands-free devices
Hands-Free Does Not Equal Risk Free
According to the NSC, earpieces, dashboard systems and speaker phones are just as distracting as using a cellphone held to the ear. Hands-free devices require just as much concentration and should therefore be avoided while driving. The NSC identifies three requirements for driving.
- Eyes on the road
- Hands on the wheel
- Mind focused on driving
Important Takeaways From Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Needlessly, about 100 people die every day and thousands every year in car accidents because they continue to use handheld or hands-free cellphones while driving. The NSC urges everyone to:
- Understand hands-free devices offer no safety benefits
- Recognize cellphones have cognitive distraction effects on the brain
- Stop using all cellphones while behind the wheel
- Share the dangers of cellphone distracted driving with others
Auto Insurance Calgary: Attentive Drivers Save Lives
It’s important to remember that distractions take a significant amount of brain activity away from the primary task of driving and that accidents caused by distracted drivers needlessly claim thousands of lives annually.
Here are some more alarming statistics:
- Driver distraction is a factor in about four million automobile accidents in North America annually
- In distracted driving related fatalities, 80 per cent are result of carelessness or inattentiveness
- Some form of driver inattention contributes to 80 per cent of collisions and 65 per cent of near collisions
- Children are four times more distracting than an adult passenger
- Infants are eight times more distracting than an adult passenger
*When compared to attentive drivers, those who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident or near accident event!
Attentive Drivers Save on Car Insurance
Attentive drivers save lives and claims-free drivers will save on their auto insurance. Calgary drivers who engage in the following behaviours are much more likely to be involved in collisions or near collision events than non-distracted drivers:
- Talking on a cellphone: Four to five times more likely
- Dialing a cellphone: Three times more likely
- Reading: Three times more likely
- Personal grooming: Three times more likely
- Reaching for something moving: Nine times more likely
Auto Insurance Calgary: Find the Lowest Rates at Bow Valley Insurance
When selecting their auto insurance, Calgary business owners and residents work with Bow Valley Insurance brokers to assist them with the important decisions necessary for selecting the best policy. Our experienced auto insurance brokers can explain how to bundle policies for greater savings, the difference between liability, collision, comprehensive and specified perils coverage, and make sure you understand how your deductible affects your overall insurance costs. Request a quote today!