Distracted Driving - A Larger Problem than Impaired Driving in Much of Canada

August 30, 2018, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

I’ve been posting a lot about distracted driving lately because the message isn’t getting through to many people. To be clear it is illegal, and unsafe. It is also now the leading cause of personal injury and death in car accidents in Quebec (more than impaired) and it is close to passing impaired driving as a leading cause of personal injury and death in the rest of Canada.

Frankly, it’s unacceptable to think that it’s ok to be texting and talking on their handsets while they are driving the car. We wouldn’t get into the car with someone who driving impaired, so why is it ok to be in the car with someone who is on their mobile device?Police and safety organizations are focussing on campaigns that highlight the dangers of distracted driving, and that try to make it ‘uncool’, just as they did with impaired driving. To succeed it must become socially unacceptable to drive distracted.  Mythbusters, experts and police have all studied the problem and there is no doubt that talking on your cellphone while driving is as dangerous as being impaired. In fact, you can watch the Mythbuster’s video on it here for entertainment. Show it to your kids, and share it at work.

In the clip Adam and Kari were given the job of driving the same course under three different circumstances. The control where they were sober and focussed, the second where they were on their phones with someone outside the car, and thirdly they drove the course after drinking several beers getting them to raise their BAC to just under the legal limit of 0.08%. Both drivers passed the first test, in the second test the drivers abilities suffered considerably while they answered the questions on the phones. Both drivers failed the test. In the third case when they were drunk they drove just as badly as when they were on the phones, and again they failed the test. They then took the test one step beyond to test hands free phone conversations. They concluded that hands free phones are just as dangerous as handheld use. This is also confirmed by tests from Touro University in 2013 and New Jersey statistics.

Being drunk and being on the phone had the same impacts on reaction times and obstacle avoidance. Both drivers failed. Talking on your phone is as dangerous as driving drunk. Not surprisingly testing while you drive is more dangerous than drunk driving. Not only are you distracted mentally, but you are distracted physically from looking at the road. A Virginia Tech study showed that texting is 17 times more dangerous than talking on the phone.

 

 

 

Posted under Accident Benefit News, Distracted Drivers, Drunk Driving Accidents

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

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