Driving while distracted not only puts the driver in danger, but any passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers in danger as well. Distracted driving is defined as any time that a driver’s attention is taken away from the task of driving. The most common causes of distracted driving are:
- Eating or drinking
- Using the stereo or navigational system
According to Transport Canada, distracted driving contributed to 21 per cent of fatal collisions and 27 per cent of serious injury collisions in 2016, both of which represent an increase over the previous decade.
Penalties for distracted driving vary across provinces and territories, going as high as a $1,275 fine and six demerit points. However, these penalties and risks are often not enough to deter drivers from staying focused on the road. As such, employers may need to do more to help prevent distracted driving on the job.
Drivers should be set navigation settings and secure all loose objects before driving, and are encouraged to let calls, texts, and emails go unanswered. Instead, drivers should allow for plenty of time to spare so that they can pull over to read and respond to any communications without fearing running late to their destination.