Distracted Driving - Tips for Safe Cell Phone Use
ICBC recently released a bulletin on distracted driving to emphasize the importance of focusing on the road while you’re driving.
Distracted driving is the second leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C. and one of the most common distractions behind the wheel is a mobile device. On average, there are approximately 81 fatal crashes in B.C. per year that are caused by distracted driving.*You may feel pressured to be connected all the time but using your phone while driving is putting yourself and others in danger.
Bottom line is – when you’re driving, leave your phone alone.
Here are some tips for safe cell phone use:
Leave your phone alone. No text or phone call is worth risking your life or others. Let calls go to voicemail and ignore your text messages while driving. Remember, using a phone at a stop light is still prohibited.
Pull over to make or receive a call. If you have to take a call, pull over only if it is safe to do so.
Plan to avoid distraction. Turn your cellphone off or place it in the truck of your car so you won’t be tempted to talk, email, or text while you’re driving.
Assign a designated texter. Ask your passengers to make or receive calls and texts for you.
Keep your hands off. Use hand-free devices if you must take a call; this includes Bluetooth devices, wired headsets, or speakerphones.
New driver? If you have a Learners or Novice licence, you aren’t allowed to use any electronic device behind the wheel, including hands-free headsets or speakerphones.
Law enforcement. Police officers and emergency responders are the only drivers permitted to use mobile devices behind the wheel.
Check the facts. Make sure you understand the law, review the facts about distracted driving and learn the rules around using your mobile device in a vehicle.
More information on Driver Distraction and Cellphone Use
Original ICBC bulletin on Distracted Driving
Tia Chisholm, HUB International TRANSPORTATION
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