Even though motorists understand the dangers inherent in distracted driving, many still do it anyway. Whether it is the notion that “I am experienced enough to multitask” or “Traffic is moving smoothly enough to look away for a moment,” drivers allow themselves to be tempted by a broad range of distractions including personal grooming, eating a snack or manipulating the vehicle’s audio system.
Unfortunately, one distraction remains so pervasive that drivers recognize the danger yet continue to take part in the activity – cell phone use while behind the wheel.
In a recent poll commissioned by the ICBC, more than four out of every ten drivers surveyed admitted that they still use their phones at least one in every ten trips. The survey also noted that 93 per cent of the same drivers believe that texting while driving is highly risky. Additionally, 84 per cent of those surveyed believe it is risky to hold a cellphone while driving.
Why is this so risky?
It is not uncommon for drivers to become bored while behind the wheel. Many attempt to counter this by multitasking or simply passing the time until they reach their destination. Often, this takes the form of a text conversation, phone call or checking email while still trying to navigate the road. Any of these actions can pull a driver’s focus from safe motoring.
Safety organizations generally categorize the distractions in three ways: cognitive distractions, visual distractions and manual distractions. Many activities, such as texting, cross the boundaries into different areas. A distracted driver can miss stopped traffic, warning signals, intersections and other road hazards. A collision can lead to devastating property damage and catastrophic injuries such as brain trauma, spinal cord damage, broken bones and paralysis.