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Distracted driving = risky driving

Guthrie Insurance

Source: IBC by Maria Miceli

For the first time, distracted driving has surpassed impaired driving as the number one road safety concern among Canadians. Consider these facts.

1. Nearly 80% of collisions and 65% of near-collisions involved some form of driver inattention up to three seconds prior to the event.

2. A driver is 23X more likely to be involved in a collision if texting while driving and 4X more likely to be involved in a collision if talking on a cellphone (hand-held or hands-free) while driving.

3. When distracted while driving, you may fail to see up to 50% of the available information in your driving environment. You may look but not actually "see" what is happening.

4. The ability to multi-task should have no place behind the wheel. Follow these tips before hitting the road to maintain your focus while driving:

- Groom yourself.
- Make sure children and/or pets are comfortable and secure.
- Stow and secure any loose objects in your car.
- Eat.
- Check voicemails and text messages.
- Put your cellphone away in a place that will not be accessible for the remainder of the trip.
- Adjust your seat, headrest, seatbelt, rear-view and side mirrors, climate control and other dashboard controls.
- Read maps and/or program the GPS route to your destination.
- Be well rested. If you are out late and too tired to drive home, call a taxi or spend the night at a friend's house nearby.
- Ask passengers to keep chatter to a minimum and help you navigate.
- Manage music preferences ahead of time (and only adjust them when stopped at a red light or stop sign).
- Consider your options if you'll be driving a long distance. Plan to pull over somewhere safe if you need a break rather than be distracted on the road.

Don't become the next statistic. Distracted driving is risky driving. Help put an end to it now.

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