Distracted Driving Stats and Penalties
"You’re not fooling anyone" said Tyler McMurchy, SGI's Media Relations Manager said, referring to people constantly looking down when they drive.
"it just looks...well...weird" he added.
But it's not just people on their phones when they should be focusing on the road that has gotten under McMurchy's skin. It's people eating messy burgers and burritos while driving too.
"C’mon, with sauce dripping all over your face, hands, and steering wheel, that’s both gross and dangerous" he said
Of course, it’s not all just about looks though. McMurchy said "if your attention isn’t on the task of driving, then you might not see that yield sign. Or that the light just turned red. Or that kid darting in front of you on her bicycle."
Distracted drivers caused more than 6,000 collisions last year, resulting in 953 injuries and 26 deaths. Distracted driving is the leading cause of collisions in Saskatchewan and the second-highest factor in fatal collisions (behind impaired driving).
That’s why law enforcement will be cracking down on distracted drivers throughout October as part of the Traffic Safety Spotlight.
“Police have plenty of ways to catch distracted drivers in the act,” said Penny McCune, Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund. “They could be cruising through traffic in unmarked SUVS, they might be in plainclothes on the sidewalks, or maybe they’ll be watching from elevated vantage points overlooking busy thoroughfares. Pay attention: if you drive distracted, you’re going to get caught."
The current penalty for driving distracted is a $280 ticket and four demerit points (and that’s not including the financial penalties or loss of Safe Driver Recognition insurance discounts).
"That will ruin your week quicker than you can post a sad selfie on Instagram. So keep your eyes on the road and keep your money in your wallet" McMurchy said.
It only takes a second of not focusing on the road to ruin your life, or someone else’s.
SGI offered some tips to help you drive distraction-free:
Put your cellphone on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode while driving.
Ask your passenger to handle answering any messages.
Can’t leave your phone alone? Toss it in the trunk or backseat.
If you’re using GPS, enter your destination ahead of time.
If you drop something, leave it. Don’t fumble around for it.
Make your drive time, quiet time.