The Dangers of Driving While Distracted
Distractions, no matter how small, can be dangerous for you as a driver and to everyone around you on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 90 km/h, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. During that time, maybe you didn't see the vehicle that was backing out of a driveway, or maybe you missed the cyclists who have suddenly turned into your path.
Distracted driving is a significant threat to road safety.
- Drivers are 5X more likely to crash when talking on their mobile phones
- Drivers are 9X more likely to crash when reaching for a moving object
- The likelihood of a collision is increased 3.6X when using any electronic device
Unplug and Drive
One in six young Canadians has admitted to driving distracted in the past.
Smartphones have become a big factor in distracted driving, and the problem has evolved beyond texting. Music, apps, maps, messaging platforms, and social media are all frequently used while driving and pose the same threat as calling or texting.
Utilize built-in tools such as do not disturb, configurable in the settings of many smartphones.
Driving Distracted is Against the Law
Being caught driving while distracted can result in fines and licence suspensions. Below is a list of penalties for using your phone while driving in Ontario.
First conviction: $615 – $1,000, three demerits
Second conviction: $615 – $2,000, six demerits
Third conviction: $615 – $3,000, six demerits
Careless Driving Charges
Distracted drivers who endanger others may now be charged with careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act.
Charges for careless driving causing bodily harm or death include: loss of six demerits, fines ranging from $2,000 - $50,000, up to two years in jail, licence suspension of up to five years
First conviction: three-day suspension
Second conviction: seven-day suspension
Third conviction and further: 30-day suspension
Five Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving
Avoiding distractions is crucial for all drivers. To help, we've compiled the top tips to avoid distractions while driving.
Ontario’s Distracted Driving Laws
Know what counts as distracted driving – and the penalties you could face for it – before you get behind the wheel.
Full Costs of A Distracted Driving Ticket
Texting and driving will not only lead to fines—it could send your insurance premiums soaring.