Talking, texting or tweeting—we can now communicate with friends and family at any moment, even on the road. But this ability to connect can easily distract us from the task at hand, with sometimes serious consequences.
A 2012 Ipsos Reid survey conducted on behalf of ICBC shows that B.C. drivers consider texting while driving to be just as risky as drinking and driving. They're right.
Distracted driving is the third leading cause of fatal car crashes in B.C., with an average of 94 deaths per year due to distractions such as using a personal electronic device behind the wheel.
Driving is a complex task that requires your full attention; that's why we want you to get to where you’re going safely.
ICBC's tips for safe mobile phone use:
Learn the law. “Can I text at a stoplight?” “Is using the speakerphone safe?” Review the list of common misconceptions (PDF) about distracted driving to make sure you understand what's legal and safe.
Place calls before you drive. Make any important calls before leaving the parking lot, office or home. Otherwise, wait until you get to your destination.
Set a reminder. Download free ringtones at icbc.com/drivesmart to remind yourself to leave the phone alone when you’re driving.
Pull over to make or receive a call. If you must make or receive a call while in your car, pull over to the side of the road once it is safe. Make sure you’re safely off to the side so you’re not posing a danger to other vehicles.
Take a message. Let your voice mail pick up your calls. It’s easy and much safer to retrieve your voice mails and text messages at a later time.
Let passengers make or receive calls and texts for you. If there are passengers in the vehicle, let them make and receive calls and texts for you. If you are expecting an incoming call or text that requires your immediate attention, let your passenger drive.
Plan to avoid distraction. Turn your mobile phone off, place it in the trunk of your car or in the back seat so you won’t be tempted to talk, email or text when you’re on the road.
Give your texting habit a 180
For last year's 180 Short Film Contest, we asked young filmmakers to create short, persuasive films. Ones that would get their friends to do a 180 on their risky driving habits, like speeding, impaired driving, and distracted driving.
Deer haunt, by Sonia Suvagau was shortlisted in the distracted category for 2011.