Ontario Distracted Drivers Creating Havoc on the Roads
The Ontario Provincial Police is reporting that driver distraction road deaths will surpass impaired-related deaths this year two-fold. There have been thirty-eight road deaths related to inattentive drivers compared to nineteen deaths resulting from impaired driving for the year ending mid-August.
Distracted and impaired driver behaviours are causing havoc on Ontario roads. The OPP is looking at drivers to become aware of what is happening around them and to be diligent when it comes to driving without distractions. The OPP is looking to create the same disdain for distracted driving that has developed when it comes to impaired driving. It appears that drivers are intolerant of impaired drivers but not so much when it comes to distracted drivers.
How to Let Drivers Know it’s not Okay to Drive Distracted
As a passenger, you have the greatest control when it comes to distracted driving behaviours. Advise drivers that you are not comfortable when they engage in distracted behaviour while driving. If their eyes are not on the road, any person in the vehicle is not safe. Recognize that distracted drivers are endangering your life and the lives of everyone around them.
Since 2009, the OPP has investigated over six hundred road fatalities than involved an inattentive driver. Imagine if that number was half or even one third because as a passenger you told your distracted driver that their behaviour was unacceptable. Imagine some lives that have been affected by those six hundred fatalities resulting from distracted driving habits. The number is not just six hundred; that amount can easily be two thousand or even three thousand, taking into account family members, other motorists and first responders who ultimately had to deal with the consequences of a fatality.
Texting and driving are very dangerous and against the law in Ontario. Everyone needs to play their part to follow the rules of the road. All drivers are encouraged to put down their phones. Passengers are encouraged to let their drivers know is not okay to engage in distracted behaviour while driving.
“Text Stops” Let Drivers Text Safely
In conjunction with the OPP, the Ministry of Transportation Ontario has designated four ONroute Highway Service Centres as “Text Stops”. These locations allow drivers to pull over in a safe environment and respond to texts or calls they may have missed along their journey. The four service centre locations are spread across Ontario Provincial highways and include King City, Cambridge North, Woodstock and Port Hope.
Young Drivers of Canada continues to spread the message when it comes to distracted driving habits. Avoid the temptation, turn off your phone and lock it in the truck. The texts and messages will still be there when you arrive at your destination. A text or call is not worth your life or the life of others!