Texting is a prevalent cause of roadway crashes because it is virtually impossible to watch the road and text simultaneously. For every two seconds a driver’s eyes stray away from the road, he or she is twice as likely to have an accident. Inattention is the leading contributing factor in most crashes or near-miss accidents in Canada.
Intention on the Road
Of all crashes, 80 per cent (and 65 per cent of near-crashes) involve driver inattention within a three-second window of the incident. The moral of the story: When motorists change radio stations, try to read maps or talk on cell phones, they are putting themselves and others at risk.
How Texting is Unique
The latest danger to hit the roadways in recent years is texting while driving. AAA claims that texting requires a motorist’s full attention, which obviously inhibits attention to the road.
A recent study by the Canada Automobile Association found that 33.6 seconds are needed to reply to a text message. In this time, a driver in a residential neighbourhood would pass 85 parked cars, 36 houses, or 5 intersections. The driver would also likely encounter bikes or pedestrians.
This concern is not limited to everyday drivers; inattention due to texting has caused many occupational drivers to be involved in deadly roadway crashes.
It’s Against the Law
Alberta has a law outlawing the use of cell phones and texting while driving. To avoid a ticket and a potentially dangerous accident, do not use your cell phone in any capacity while driving. If you must make a phone call or text, pull off the road safely and then do so. If you’re really struggling to resist the urge to respond to messages when they come in, turn your phone off before getting into the car. No message is more important than saving someone’s life.
Effects of Tickets due to Distracted Driving
Receiving a distracted driving ticket in Alberta is a major conviction with most insurance companies and can cause significant premium increases along with reduction in coverage options. This ticket will affect you for a minimum of three years.