Smart phones have changed our lives in myriad ways.
The way we communicate, the way we use the Internet, the way we shop and date and get directions.
They’ve also made our roads more dangerous.
Earlier this week, the OPP issued a release saying they’d responded to four fatal vehicle collisions in what the force calls it Central Region in the past two weeks.
The OPP launched a distracted driving campaign Monday, which will continue until March 20.
Think of dangerous driving behaviours and impaired driving and speeding likely come immediately to mind.
What might not come as quickly is the use of handheld electronic devices, but it’s a behaviour, one that many of us have likely been guilty of at one time or another, that can be just as dangerous.
Just as deadly.
Yes, I am going to list a bunch of statistics now. But this is important.
According to a 2010 study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, drivers who engage in texting while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash than non-distracted drivers.
According to the RCMP, in 2010, distracted driving killed 104 people in British Columbia and according to CAA, distracted driving is responsible for about four million car crashes in North America each year.
According to the federal government, economic losses as a result of traffic collision-related healthcare costs and associated lost productivity total about $10 billion a year, or roughly one per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.
Distracted driving is something we can all be proactive about.
If you are using your phone for directions, program the location and get the creepy robot lady to narrate your journey for you.
Otherwise, when you get into your car, turn off your phone so you won’t be tempted if you receive a text or email while you’re driving.
Whatever it is can certainly wait until you reach your destination.