Distracted driving is any activity that could divert your attention away from the main task of driving. It is something that is both dangerous and disturbingly common. In fact, drivers spend more than half of their time focused on things other than driving.
You may be surprised to learn that cell phones and texting are just part of the problem when it comes to distracted driving. While stowing your phone while you drive is an important safety step, other behaviors behind the wheel, from drinking coffee to using a navigation system, may also be putting you at risk.
It may not be surprising to learn that your brain is only capable of processing a certain amount of information at any given time.
When we attempt to perform multiple tasks at the same time, like driving while talking on the phone or eating, we can encounter performance problems. Multiple tasks tend to compete for our brain's attention.
In Ontario, Distracted Driving fines can range from $490-$1000 and up to 3 demerit points.
“The fact is, everything that occupies your mind or your vision can contribute to distraction behind the wheel,” explains Chris Hayes, Safety Professional from Travelers. “While many distracted driving studies focus on cell phones, any type of multi-tasking activity and driving simply do not mix.”
Avoiding sending text messages or calling someone you know is on the road can help prevent them from distraction. Parents can set a good example for children by modeling attentive driving, including putting away the phone and not eating or grooming behind the wheel.