Inattentive driving is linked to more collisions on Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)-patrolled roads so far this year than speeding and alcohol/drug-related collisions combined.
Since January 1, driver distraction has been reported as the primary cause in 6,360 road collisions. In contrast, speed was the primary cause in 4,700 crashes, while 1,158 of the incidents involved a driver who consumed alcohol or drugs.
A total of 47 people have died so far this year because of an inattentive driver, up from 39 such deaths this time last year.
With children and other students taking to the streets and being bused to school after Labour Day, the need for motorists to pay full attention to driving – and for others to take a firm stand against drivers who do not – has never been greater.
“Our collision data is compelling evidence that drivers who text, talk on their cell phone, or are distracted in some other way take a tremendous toll on the safety of those who share the road with them. Public complacency about inattentive driving can be just as dangerous as the behaviour itself. Until drivers, passengers, and the general public take a firm stand against this road safety issue, these tragedies are expected to continue in large numbers on our roads,” said Vince Hawkes, OPP Commissioner.
With the exception of 2012, inattentive drivers have taken more lives on OPP-patrolled roads than speeding and alcohol-impaired drivers since Ontario distracted driving laws took effect in 2009.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
As a driver, keep your cell phone out of sight. If you need to use it, pull over at a safe location.
As a passenger, speak up and voice your concerns about your safety when travelling with a distracted driver. By ignoring the problem, you are contributing to the problem.
Spread the word at your school or workplace about the dangers of distracted driving.
Highlight the dangers of distracted driving on social media.
Be a voice in your community.