Distracted Driving in America and Canada: A Growing Trend

by Lauren Ray on November 5, 2013

Distracted driving, especially texting while driving has become a serious problem on both American and Canadian roadways. This epidemic is causing serious accidents resulting in massive injuries and death to thousands of innocent victims a year.

New Technology, New Dangers on the Road

Today’s drivers must face risks that did not exist in previous generations. The majority of North Americans own a cell phone or tablet. This increase of hand-held technology has led to a measured increase in distracted driving car accidents. Some studies have demonstrated that texting while driving may even be more dangerous than drunk driving.

In 2011 at least 23% of auto collisions involved cell phone use of some kind, according to data from distraction.gov.

An estimated 77% of American teenagers believe they can safely text while driving, while 55% boast that they believe it is easy to text and drive.

A recent Insurance Bureau of Canada report found that 89% of Canadians were concerned about distracted driving, however only 60% of those drivers said they would agree to stop using their cell phones while driving.

What can you do?

In both America and Canada, distracted driving is a national problem. In America, 10 states and the District of Columbia already prohibit drivers from using hand-held phones while driving, and this number is believe to keep increasing.

All 10 Canadian provinces have some form of cell phone/distracted driving legislation in place, although it is still uncertain if these laws are having any measurable effect.

It’s a fact cell phone use while driving is dangerous: there are over 11 teen deaths every day as a result of distracted driving due to call phone use.  Below are a few proactive steps you can take to help make sure you keep yourself and others on the roadways safe:

  • NEVER text & drive. It can wait.
  • Do not try to view voice mails when driving. Keep your eyes on the road.
  • If you need to use your GPS on your mobile phone never do it while you are driving, always make sure you are parked or pulled over while entering the address. Always make sure you use a hands-free phone holder so you can keep your eyes on the road while listening to navigation.
  • Don’t surf the web while driving, even at a red light
  • Don’t search your music library while driving or listen to music with headphones on

Remember, texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to be in a car crash. Even if you believe you can text and drive safely, you can’t. If you take your eyes off the road for only five seconds, at 55 miles per hour that is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field without looking. All it takes is a single mistake and you can ruin your life, or the life of someone else forever.

New technology is a wonderful thing that is here to stay, but we have to be responsible enough to use is safely while driving.

If you are injured by a distracted driver, there is help

When you are the victim of a car accident that was not your fault, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer. They will be able to investigate the situation and help seek out the facts to determine how the accident happened.

Do not rely on the insurance companies to provide you the best settlement to cover your injuries and damages.  Insurance companies are a profit driven business like any other, and make money by paying out the smallest settlements possible. An experienced auto injury lawyer with knowledge in distracted driving cases will go the extra mile to help make sure you collect fair and full compensation for your injuries.

This has been a guest safety blog brought to you by Cariati Law in Toronto, Canada.

Lauren Ray

Lauren Ray

Lauren covers a variety of legal topics, including trusts, estates, car accident, and personal injury law.

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