On your commute to and from work everyday, how many drivers do you see talking on their cell phones or texting someone? The biggest fears for drivers on the road today isn’t drunk drivers. It’s not even tired and sleepy drivers anymore, or road rage.
People texting while driving is now considered the major threat to our well-being when we’re using our roadways. Almost every driver has a cell phone and their device is impossible to ignore or put away. One report suggests that these drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident.
The OPP have stated that distracted driving causes up to half of all accidents on our roadways. While police are laying charges against drivers caught texting or talking on a cellphone while driving, the prevalence of this infraction isn’t diminishing. The compulsion to text while driving is too strong for some drivers. When the texter is a young driver, the risks are compounded.
The penalties for distracted driving are pretty light at $155 per infraction and up to 6 demerits. Maximum penalties can reach license suspension for 2 years, jail term of 6 months, and $2000 in fines. The cost goes much further when you calculate how much the driver’s insurance rates will increase over the next 3 year period.
It’s common sense that texting while driving is a bad practice. The driver’s eyes, mind, and fingers are all occupied and they’re unable to attend to driving their vehicle. While they’re immersed in typing messages, reading, or just talking while driving, they can lose control of their car or truck with very dire consequences. The news has plenty of stories about accidents caused by distracted drivers.
Although texting is common, it is unfair to suggest everyone does it. Some drivers are very conscientious about their behaviour on the road. These drivers typically have the lowest insurance rates.
We all need to discourage texting while driving and yes, even report people who are doing it. Sometimes people just need to be told not to do something directly by a police officer to curtail the activity.
There is a movement to make texting and other forms of distracted driving major driving infractions. They would like to see punishments similar to drunk driving. You can’t blame people for seeking this movement. Too often we hear of people losing control of their vehicle, or rear ending another car, or even blocking traffic while texting.
There’s nothing humorous about texting and driving. It is an activity that alter people’s lives including the texting driver. See this article about a British Columbia driver, whose life changed in an instant.
How do you feel about distracted driving and its effect on car insurance rates, injuries, and legal liability? Is distracted driving really up there with drunk driving in seriousness? Is this driving while intexticated?