All provinces and territories (with the exception of Nunavut) have made it illegal to drive while using a hand-held mobile device. However, are we really safe using hands-free technology while behind the wheel? Currently, no Canadian jurisdiction prohibits the use of hands free devices for all drivers, although British Columbia and Saskatchewan have banned hands-free devices for new drivers in the graduated driver’s licence program.

According to a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute 2009 study, you are twenty three times more likely to be involved in a collision if you text while driving. Talking on any sort of device, hand-held or hands free, means you are four times more likely to be involved in a crash.

We learned from CBC News that in February 2016 the Fredericton police conducted a four hour blitz on distracted driving and issued tickets to twenty one drivers who were using their hand held cell phones while driving. Those numbers should be concerning to all of us on the road: twenty one distracted drivers in a four hour period. This means a driver on their cell phone was spotted approximately every twelve minutes.

A cell phone is not the only cause of distracted driving. Changing the radio or music in the car, smoking, eating, using GPS, reading a map and talking to a passenger are all causes of distraction. The results of driver distraction can be deadly. The British Columbia RCMP estimate that distracted driving contributed to one hundred and four fatal collisions in the province in 2010.

One Ontario family’s heartbreaking story about the consequences of distracted driving can be viewed at:

Remember that it only takes a second of distraction to result in devastating consequences. Pay attention at all times when you are behind the wheel. As one Alberta campaign memorably stated: crotches kill.

Crotches Kill

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