Tips to stop distracted driving
Sometimes you can’t help but want to respond to just one text or email on your phone while you’re behind the wheel. Almost 3 out of 4 Canadians admit to distracted driving and even glancing at your phone for a second makes you 23 times more likely to be in a collision.
And did you know that distracted driving is not only dangerous but also illegal? Every province in Canada, as well as the Yukon and Northwest Territories, have laws that ban using cellphones or hand-held electronic devices while driving. Penalties range from expensive fines to demerit points.
Need some tips to kick your texting and driving habit for good? Here’s some of our best advice.
Send any messages before you start driving
Make sure to send any texts or emails, make phone calls, and set up your GPS and playlist before you start driving.
Turn your phone onto silent or airplane mode to limit notifications
When you can hear your phone chirping with a new message, it can be difficult to resist checking for just a second. Put your phone onto silent or airplane mode, which will limit notifications and make it easier to ignore your phone.
Or turn your phone off completely
If you still find yourself tempted to check your phone while driving, turn it off completely until you get to your destination.
Keep your phone out of reach
You know what they say: “Out of sight, out of mind.” Having your phone in your pocket or by your side makes it easier to get distracted. Put your phone somewhere it is not easily accessible, such as in a purse or in the glove box.
Hand your phone over to a trusted passenger
For the duration of your car ride, practice having a “personal assistant” and hand your phone over to a passenger who can respond to messages and ensure that you do not drive distracted.
Download apps that will block incoming messages and alerts
Have you heard the expression “there’s an app for that”? These days, there are many apps available for smartphones that will block incoming notifications while you’re driving.
If you have to, pull over or make a stop before going on your phone
If there is an urgent issue and you need to get on your phone, make the smart choice and pull over or make a stop before going on your phone. Some highways even have specific “texting” rest stops!