At this point, it should be common knowledge that using a cell phone while driving is dangerous. But there are a significant number of Canadians who think that texting while stopped at a red light is okay. However, studies indicate that sending text messages from behind the wheel is never safe, unless your car is securely parked.
By bringing this issue to light, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) hopes to further its efforts toward raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
What the Red Light Texting Survey has Revealed
In addition to auto insurance, the CAA also provides consumers with educational resources. Recently, CAA conducted a poll to gauge how drivers feel about texting at stop lights. And the poll results prove that too many consumers still don't fully understand the dangers associated with distracted driving.
Apparently, about one third (33%) of Canadians are willing to admit that they've texted while stopped at a red light in the last month. This is disturbing because evidence shows that the human brain may still be distracted for up to 27 seconds after interacting with a phone. This means that your mind may not be up to the task of driving in time to safely make it through the intersection.
Given the facts, it's easy to see how texting at a red light is almost as unsafe as texting while the car is in motion. But it seems that not every driver has thought this through. It appears that many consumers aren't quite where they need to be when it comes to distracted driving. About this, Jeff Walker, vice-president of public affairs for CAA National had the following to say:
"It's socially unacceptable to drive drunk, and that's where we need to get with texting. Attitudes are beginning to shift, but our actions need to follow."
Think about it. You wouldn't take a drink of an alcoholic beverage while stopped at a stop light? Why would you do something else that might be hazardous?
How Canadian Law is Cracking Down on Distracted Driving
If you're sending text messages while driving, studies show that you are 23 times more likely to be in an accident. You would think that this alone would be enough to get drivers to put their phones down. But because it apparently isn't enough, there are laws throughout the country that prohibit cell phone use while driving.
Here are the provinces that impose the stiffest penalties for texting behind the wheel:
Currently, in Quebec, there is a strong push to make distracted driving a criminal offense if it results in injury or death. This is how drunk driving is treated in the province, and many people feel that distracted driving should be dealt with in the same manner.
For more information about the dangers associated with distracted driving, visit distracteddriving.caa.ca. Or stop by CAA's primary site to download their free educational game, TXT U L8R. This game allows the player to see how distractions, like a cell phone, can negatively affect driving. TXT U L8R might be an effective teaching tool for any driver, but especially for young drivers who are just starting out.
Another Way to Stay Safe on the Roads
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