Avoid These Distractions When Driving

21 Mar 2023
Avoid These Distractions When Driving

Auto accidents in Canada claim thousands of lives each year, with distracted driving being a leading cause. This preventable behavior not only causes injuries and property damage, but also contributes to the loss of precious lives. While it may be difficult to avoid accidents caused by road conditions or the actions of other drivers, distracted driving is something that can be controlled.

Many of us have observed drivers in our neighborhood or on highways who seem to be unaware of their surroundings while driving. Today’s vehicles have advanced features such as cruise control, lane assist, and automatic emergency braking that can create a false sense of security for drivers. However, it is important to remember that the responsibility of driving safely without distraction ultimately lies with the driver.

Even with advanced safety features, drivers need to remain attentive to quickly changing road conditions. Engaging in distracting activities while driving can increase the risk of accidents. Some of the common activities that lead to distracted driving include:

  • Talking or Texting on the Phone
  • Eating,
  • Reading Maps or Using Navigation Apps
  • Reading Books or Newspapers
  • Talking to Passengers
  • Grooming 
  • Adjusting the Stereo.

To reduce risk, it is recommended to avoid engaging in these activities while driving. Instead of using their phone, drivers can use the auto-reply feature that sends a message to incoming callers when driving. Eating while driving should also be avoided, and drivers should park safely to eat or drink. Similarly, navigation apps should be set before starting the journey, and reading books or newspapers can wait until the destination is reached.

Passenger conversations should be limited so that the driver can concentrate on the road. Grooming tasks such as shaving or putting on makeup can be done at home, and adjusting the stereo should be done after parking in a safe spot.

With busy schedules, many people spend more time in their cars, making it tempting to multitask while driving. However, it is crucial to prioritize safety and avoid distractions while driving. Tasks that cannot wait should be completed after parking safely. Safe driving not only saves money with many insurers but can also prevent injuries and save lives.

Matt Schottroff is the Marketing Coordinator for The Standard Insurance Brokers Ltd. and the host of the Passionate People video series. He lives and works in Kenora, Ontario.

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