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Porter Ramsay Blog

Many drivers still refuse to put down their phones

Distractions while driving are nothing new. Humans are naturally curious, and you may be among those for whom a colourful billboard, a conversation in the vehicle or a song on the radio takes your attention from the road. Do you eat while driving, check your teeth or dig for something in your backpack? This are all examples of distracted driving.

Anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or mind off the task of driving is a distraction. The one thing that seems to do all those things is a cellphone.

For decades, since the first cellphones came on the market, drivers have had arguably their most powerful distraction. Current cellphones offer so many apps and features that many simple refuse to be without their phones, even while driving. This places your life in danger.

What will it take to get through?

In recent years, safety agencies and organisations have made valiant efforts to reduce the amount of distracted driving on British Columbia roads. This includes the following and others:

  • Local and national safety campaigns on the dangers of distracted driving
  • Legislation restricting the use of handheld devices
  • Increasing fines and other penalties for distracted driving
  • No-excuses enforcement of distracted driving laws
  • Higher insurance rates for those cited for distracted driving

Despite these and other factors, more than 40% of drivers in a recent survey said these are not strong enough reasons to put down their phones while driving. Shockingly, these drivers said that only a collision might convince them to stop using their cellphones behind the wheel. Ironically, however, most of the drivers surveyed agreed that they worry about their risk of an accident caused by other drivers who are distracted by cellphones.

Distracted driving is selfish

You may already be experiencing the consequences of another vehicle crashing into yours. Perhaps you suffered debilitating injuries that required hospitalisation, surgery, lost wages and other setbacks. Maybe you had to watch family members or friends suffer with their injuries, or perhaps you lost a loved one in an accident.

To learn that the collision occurred because the other driver was not willing to put down his or her cellphone may be frustrating and even infuriating.

To count the cost of this kind of suffering and loss may be impossible, but pursuing compensation through the civil courts can send a strong message to drivers who continue to selfishly cling to their cellphones without considering the risk they may be to others.