Distracted driving: it’s not just calls and texting

It is clear that distracted driving is one of the most serious problems our country faces these days. According to the Ministry of Transportation,

  • drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a collision than drivers who focus on the road
  • when drivers take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds, their crash risk doubles

We all know that talking or texting on a phone while behind the wheel is a dangerous combination. But as more and more electronic devices become a part of our lives, it is not always clear what we are and are not allowed to use when we are driving.

For instance, did you know that iPods and other Mp3 players, GPS units, portable laptop players, tablets,  are all devices that are illegal to use or view while driving unless used in hands-free mode and related to your driving? It is still a grey area, but using smart watches and other wearable technologies such as the Fitbit Surge while you’re driving may also fit into this category.

Take GPS units, for example. They are arguably one of the handiest inventions in recent memory. But unless they are installed in your vehicle properly, they can be a dangerous and illegal device.

Here’s how to use a GPS unit safely and legally:

  • It must be securely mounted on the dashboard or windshield
  • You must input the required information before you start driving
  • Make sure the volume is set loud enough so that you can clearly hear the prompts

Being subject to demerits and fines for distracted driving is bad enough, but never forget the real reason that distracted driving is dangerous: because it can cause devastating and often deadly accidents.