Driving is a task that requires complete attention to the road. Inclement weather, unexpected actions from fellow drivers and challenging situations can all arise at a moment’s notice, making it crucial for Canadians to keep their eyes on the road at all times. Unfortunately, however, distracted driving continues to be a significant issue on roads across Canada.
“It is a hard habit to break,” said Ottawa Police Constable Philip Kane, “but they say that it takes 21 days to break a bad habit.”
Why not make today day one? To mark this year’s National Safe Driving Week, the Canada Safety Council and TELUS invite you to take the 21-day challenge and make a concerted effort to leave the phone alone while driving.
According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, distracted driving factors into approximately 4 million collisions annually in North America. And while public opinion seems to be that distracted driving is unacceptable, it still creeps into a driver’s day-to-day habits.
Kane sees the impact of distraction on a daily basis. And according to him, the impact reaches far beyond any potential financial punishment.
“We’re seeing far too many collisions where lives are lost because of that text or that Facebook post or checking Twitter,” said Kane. “It’s not necessarily the fine itself – you could be leaving someone you love, and they’ve got to pick up the pieces.”
The solution, of course, is fairly simple: don’t use your phone while driving! But as we all know, it’s never as simple as that. The phone buzzes in your pocket and you’re innately curious – after all, it’s human nature. But Kane offers a quick and easy solution to this dilemma.
“Keep your phone on silent,” he said. “Put it in your purse or in your pocket. It’s where I keep mine so I’m not tempted to answer it.”
The lack of a tactile or visual cues makes it much easier to ignore an incoming message, but that’s only half the solution. Nimtaz Kanji, Director of TELUS Wise, a free digital safety education program, adds, “let people in your life know that if you’re driving, you won’t answer messages. Let them know you want to get home safely.”
As a leading provider of Internet and smartphones, TELUS believes they share the responsibility in keeping Canadians safe in our digital world. “We are proud to partner with the Canada Safety Council in encouraging all Canadians to keep their eyes on the road while driving,” adds Kanji.
Take the 21-day challenge. Consciously decide that you want to be part of the solution in keeping Canadian roads safe. After all, it’s not just your life you’re putting at risk.
“We have a responsibility not only to ourselves but to everyone else on the road – whether that’s other drivers, pedestrians or cyclists – that everybody has to get home safely,” said Kane.