Distracted Driving: The Alarming Rise of Technology’s Grip on the Road

In our hyper-connected society, many have become addicted to keeping their devices within arms reach, even while operating a vehicle. The dangers of distracted driving have reached an alarming rate, posing a significate threat to everyone on or near the road. So much so, that recent data revealed that distracted driving now surpasses impaired driving as a leading cause of fatalities in Canada. 

What Constitutes Distracted Driving? 

While some may not believe they’re distracted while driving, various activities can divert the driver’s attention from their main vehicle operation task. Texting, talking on the phone, or even scrolling through social media are major distractions for any driver. Other distractions include eating or drinking, using navigation devices, adjusting the radio, and interacting with other passengers in the vehicle. Even a momentary lapse in focus can have devastating consequences, as split seconds of distraction can result in life-altering accidents. It is crucial for drivers to recognize that any activity diverting their attention compromises their safety and that of others on the road.

A Distracted Driver Is 8x More Likely to Be in a Crash

Recent statistics offer a stark glimpse into the profound repercussions of distracted driving in Canada. According to the CAA (Canadian Automotive Association), 47% of Canadians polled admitted to texting or using voice notes to send messages while driving. The statistics also show that a distracted driver is eight times more likely to be in a crash or near crash event compared to focused drivers. These alarming numbers highlight the urgent need for increased education, awareness, and enforcement to decrease the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers. 

Is The Evolution of Vehicle Technology Impacting Us?

Technology does not stop at our devices; it is now being incorporated right into many new vehicles. New features that are available in vehicles include touchscreens, voice-activated controls, information systems, and even autopilot driving. Although these advancements aim to enhance convincing for drivers, they also introduce more potential for distractions.  Vehicle manufacturers understand the delicate balance between technological advances and driver safety.  Many manufacturers are now including cameras, voice controls for the vehicle, AEB (Automatic Emergency Braking), Lane Keeping Assistant, and more to help keep all drivers safe on the road.  

How Has Law Enforcement Stepped Up Their Efforts? 

Law enforcement agencies across the country are taking action to reduce the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers. Their efforts include education, new legislation, increasing patrols, using unmarked vehicles, escalating penalties, and on-foot officers. In addition, police officers are relying on their own advanced technology, such as dashcams and body cams, to detect and document distracted driving incidents. Although efforts are in place, it is still difficult to know that distracted driving is the cause of many accidents.

Drivers’ Responsibility and Decisions

Ultimately, it all comes down to the divers’ awareness and willingness to stay focused while operating any vehicle. To ensure the safest driving environment for all drivers on the road, it is crucial that everyone takes responsibility for decisions made when behind the wheel. Simple measures like placing mobile devices away and refraining from using them when the vehicle is on the road, pulling over when a time-sensitive message or call occurs while driving, and adjusting navigation before the vehicle is in motion can make a significant difference.  

Staying focused on the main task, driving the vehicle safely should be the top priority of every driver. Remember to maintain situational awareness, obey traffic laws and anticipate any hazards by keeping your eyes on the road and checking your mirrors regularly. Don’t become part of the statistics on distracted driving.  If you have been injured by a distracted driver, please contact Harris Law without delay.  Contact us today for a free consultation. Our team has the expertise and necessary resources to guide you during this challenging time.

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