Driving distracted is one of the most important issues facing Canadian drivers today. The number of accidents as a result of driving distracted has increased to 1 in 5. That number will continue to grow unless drivers realize the dangers of driving distracted. Today, we’re going to explain what distracted driving is and what the repercussions are.
What is Distracted Driving?
Any time you’re not focused on the road ahead of you, you’re considered a distracted driver. This includes fiddling with the radio, pulling a burger out of a bag, entering in GPS coordinates and the worst of all, using your smartphone. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the highway or at a red light, if you’re not paying attention to the road, you are driving distracted.
How Dangerous is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is becoming an increasingly problematic issue across the globe. In Canada, over two people are injured in an accident due to distracted driving every hour. Annually, that’s over 17,000 people, and the number of accidents (without injury) is much higher. An article by the Virginia Tech Institute found that distracted drivers were 23 times more likely to be in an accident. In short, distracted driving is one of the top threats to yourself and others.
Are there Punishments for Distracted Driving?
Yes! In every province and territory (excluding Nunavut), there are severe punishments for distracted driving. These punishments range depending on the province you’re in. Fines for distracted driving range from , $100 at the lowest amount and can be as high as $1200. In addition to fines, you’ll also receive several demerit points depending on the province. In some cases your license could be suspended which in turn will jeopardize your insurance coverage. If you continue to drive distracted, you could even face jail time.
- Alberta – $287 per offence, and 3 demerit points.
- British Columbia – $543 to $888 per offence, and 4 demerit points.
- Manitoba – $200 per offence, and 5 demerit points.
- New Brunswick – $172 per offence, and 3 demerit points.
- Newfoundland – $100 to $400 per offence, and 4 demerit points.
- Northwest Territories – $322 to $644 per offence, and 3 demerit points.
- Nova Scotia – $234 to $579 per offence, and 3 demerit points.
- Ontario – $490 to $1000 per offence, and 3 demerit points.
- PEI – $500 to $1200 per offence, and 5 demerit points.
- Quebec – $80 to $100 per offence, and 4 demerit points.
- Saskatchewan – $280 per offence, and 4 demerit points.
- Yukon – $250 fine per offence, and 3 demerit points.
How to Avoid Distracted Driving
It comes down to being aware that anything that requires your attention while driving, is a recipe for disaster. When your phone rings, ignore it. If something falls, don’t reach to pick it up. Focus on the road, and leave everything else to a time where you can safely address them. Read our detailed article on how to best avoid being distracted while driving. Stay focused, stay safe and do not drive distracted.