Let’s face it. The mobile phones of the early 90’s were barely mobile, and personal cell phones were still new. Due to limited coverage, usage was even less. Today, phones have changed the way we communicate. The downside of the cell phone revolution is that they have changed the way we drive. Cell phones can be considered a tool or a weapon.
We have turned into a society that doesn’t answer the home phone but one that can’t wait to read that text. It’s this lack of delayed gratification that has caused thousands of automobile accidents around the province.
Using a hand held device while driving has been illegal in Ontario since 2009 but distracted driving remains the number one cause of preventable automobile accidents. Last year, fines for texting increased, giving us further reason to resist texting while driving.
If you don’t want to be a statistic, there are a few things you can choose to do about it. These things will reduce or eliminate texting while driving.
Hands- free phone use
If you must use your cell phone while behind the wheel of a car, use a hands-free system. Having access to phone calls may be enough for you to resist texting while driving.
Keep your phone out of reach
If you have no willpower and find yourself glancing at that text no matter how hard you resist, it’s time to place that phone in the glove box or another location that is not easily accessible.
Silence your phone
If your cell phone is on silent or even better, off, you will be much more likely to ignore it’s existence while driving your car. Make a habit of it and you will enjoy safer travels each time you put that car in gear.
Ask a passenger to help
If you have a passenger, have them answer that text. While avoiding cell phone use while driving is always your best option, a passenger can make that text a whole lot safer.
While not always available, pulling the car over is optimal. Concentrate on your driving and then concentrate on your text. Send that text and let your audience know that you are driving. We don’t want to be texting while driving. We also don’t want to be party to someone else texting while driving. When you do pull over, you need to be legally pulled over. So if there is a no parking sign, you can still get a ticket. You also can’t be pulled over on a 400 series highway and using your phone, unless it is an emergency. For non-emergency phone calls, is recommended you leave the interstate and make your phone call from the nearset service station parking lot, or another appropriate spot. Finally, your car’s engine may be on when you use a mobile device, but your car must be in park. If you’re caught in a traffic jam or at a red light and you put your car into park to look at your cell phone, that is still illegal.
Set your cell phone up to transfer your text to a landline. You can easily check back later on that text.
Remember, multi-tasking while driving is never a good idea. Distracted driving in Ontario is the number one cause of automobile accidents. Create discipline, form good habits and respect the road. Texting while driving can cost you more than a fine. Checking that text is never worth the risk.