Texting And Driving In Ontario – Keep Your Hands Off Your Phone And Eyes On The Road

Feb 23, 2017

Texting And Driving Is A Serious Problem

Texting And Driving

Texting and driving is a serious issue on Ontario roads. Do you really need to check that text? Do you really need to send that text right now – when driving? While we all know the answer to these questions, there are still countless drivers who choose to text while driving and put themselves and others in danger.

Texting and driving accidents happen all the time. On any given day, no matter where you are driving in Ontario, you can probably come across another driver who is texting and driving.

What Is Texting While Driving?

Texting and driving is a form of distracted driving. As part of Bill 31 and as outlined by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, “It is illegal to talk, text, dial or e-mail using hand-held phones and other hand-held communication and entertainment devices, while driving.”

This means that you are not permitted to use your phone in any way when operating a vehicle. No sending, receiving or reading texts, no checking email, and no surfing the web. In fact, you could even get a ticket if you are holding your cell phone in your hand while driving, even if you are not using it. So, it’s best to put your phone away to avoid even the temptation of picking it up when behind the wheel.

Texting And Driving Statistics

Even with the recently increased fines, and texting and driving penalties, it still remains an issue and is putting road safety in jeopardy. There is nothing more telling about the current state of cell phones and texting while driving than these stats :

  • Texting and driving makes an accident 23 times more likely.
  • Dialing your phone increase your chances of an accident by 2.8 times.
  • 1 in 5 drivers confess to surfing the web while driving.
  • Smartphones are the most common form of distraction for drivers.
  • Making even the most basic text takes a minimum of 5 seconds of your attention off of the road when you text and drive.

Source : www.textinganddrivingsafety.com

Consequences Of Texting While Driving And Ontario Laws

The texting and driving laws in Ontario fall under the distracted driving laws in the province. You are subject to the same penalties for distracted driving if you are caught texting while driving – a minimum of a $490 fine plus 3 demerit points. You may also be subject to a larger fine and additional charges, such as careless driving, if you are found to endanger others while texting and driving.

Read more about distracted driving in Ontario.

What Are The Dangers Of Texting and Driving?

Numerous texting while driving studies have been conducted, and it’s clear that getting a texting while driving ticket is not the only danger of using your phone when driving. You could get into an accident, lose control of your vehicle and cause serious injury or even kill someone – including yourself.

How Many Deaths A Year Are Caused By Texting And Driving?

In addition to causing 330,000 injuries each year, it’s estimated that about 11 teens die every day as a result of texting and driving. And this is just teens – this is about 4000 total deaths per year in the U.S.!

Source : www.edgarsnyder.com

Texting Is More Dangerous Than Drunk Driving

We are now at the point where texting and driving, and distracted driving are the most dangerous threats to drivers. It is now more dangerous than drinking and driving, and texting while driving is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.

Teens And Texting While Driving

Teens have become synonymous with texting and driving. A significant percentage of teen drivers in Ontario are continuing to text and drive, despite the well-known dangers of the illegal activity.

The Ontario-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) released a report indicating that a large percentage of students are texting and driving.

Ontario High School Students That Text While Driving

  • Grades 10 to 12 : More than 33% of in grades 10 to 12 say they have texted while driving at least once in the past year.
  • Grade 12 Only : For students in grade 12, the number climbed to 46% who have texted while driving.

Dr. Robert Mann, Senior Scientist and Principal Investigator at CAMH, stated :

Texting And Driving Ontario

We asked about texting while driving because research shows that this is a very hazardous behaviour. We were surprised to find that so many young people are taking this risk.

In reporting on the results of the 2013 Ontario Students Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS), a CBC article includes a link to video of CBC’s John Northcott, who comments on the numbers :

When you realize that the increase and the possibility of an accident when driving and texting increases twenty-fold, this is why they are concerned about this.
The irony here is that they seem to have the message on drinking and driving, yet they don’t realize that in terms of impairment, in terms of your ability to control the vehicle, texting is and can be just as bad as a few drinks, stated Mr. Northcott.

Another study, this one by Public Health Ontario, found a similar trend in the number of teens who text and drive. The study found :

  • Sometimes : 40.5% of teens sometimes read texts and 32.6% send texts while driving.
  • Almost Always : About 6% almost always read texts, about 4% almost always sent texts while driving.
  • Always : About 1% always read and send texts while driving.

Why Do People Still Text And Drive?

The Public Health Ontario study, while geared toward young drivers, still sheds some light as to why people still text and drive :

What are the top reasons people READ texts while driving?

  • Looking for directions.
  • They think the incoming message is important.
  • Because the message is coming from someone they deem important.
  • Non-stressful traffic conditions.
  • Work-related message.
  • An unexpected message.
  • They are driving at low speed.
  • Good weather conditions.

What are the top reasons people SEND texts while driving?

  • They are at a stop light.
  • They need directions.
  • They need to send an important message.
  • No police in sight.
  • They think it is safe to send a message.
  • To report a medical emergency.
  • No traffic.

Texting And Driving Prevention Tips

Texting And Driving Facts And Statistics

Preventing texting and driving starts with you, the driver. It’s up to you to choose to not engaging in texting and driving when you get behind the wheel. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is dedicate yourself to being a safe driver. Here are some ways you can minimize the temptation to text and drive :

  • Turn Your Phone Off : Turn your phone off or put it on silent mode when you are driving.
  • Keep Your Phone Out Of Reach : Put your phone out of reach so you won't be tempted to use it.
  • Give Your Phone Up : Give your phone to a passenger in your car and let them do your texting.

Best Apps To Prevent Texting And Driving

An additional texting and driving prevention tip is to use a distracted driving prevention app. These apps can block calls, read texts and emails out loud, are hands free, and offer customized options to ensure you do what is most important – focusing on driving.

Here are some apps to stop texting while driving :

If you have trouble keeping your hands off your phone when driving, try one of these apps.

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