Don’t be a fool today or any other day when you are behind the wheel! April is Distracted Driving Awareness month in Ontario, which is a united effort to recognize and eliminate the preventable deaths caused by distracted driving.
This is not an April Fools’ joke!
According to the Ontario Government, in Ontario, one person is injured every 30 minutes due to distracted driving. In addition, “a driver using a phone is four times more likely to crash than a driver focusing on the road.” We want you to be aware of distracted driving and the dangers surrounding this deadly bad habit.
What is distracted driving?
Often, we think distracted driving means using our cell phone to talk or text, however, Ontario categorizes distracted driving offences with a long list of infractions, including:
- Using your cell phone to talk, text, check a map or change a playlist
- Watching a screen i.e. a video
- Typing or programming a GPS
- Holding/using an electronic device (phone, tablet, portable gaming console)
- Eating & drinking
Tips to avoid distracted driving:
- Use Apps that prevent texting and driving – there are several free apps that you can download to your smartphone that will help you combat distracted driving. Apps such as, DriveSafe.ly offers different options and features that will assist you in leaving your phone alone while driving.
- The simplest option is to either turn your phone off or turn your notifications and ringer to silent and then put your phone either on the back seat or in the glove box.
- Before you get into your vehicle, record a message stating that you are in the car and will not be able to use your phone until you arrive at your destination.
- Before you start driving attend to everything that could distract you, i.e. set your GPS, eat prior, set your music, etc.
Everything you need to know about the new 2019 Ontario laws
Ontario’s new distracted driving laws took effect on January 1, 2019. Under the new laws, those convicted of a distracted driving offence will be penalized with fines, demerit points, and a licence suspension.
- 3 days suspension and a $1,000 fine for your first offence
- 7 days suspension and a $2,000 fine for your second offence
- 30 days suspension, a $3,000 fine, and 6 demerit points for 3 or more offences
Stay safe by avoiding driving while distracted, make sure you spread the word about April being Distracted Driving Month.
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