Distracted Driving in Nova Scotia
Distracted driving has become one of the greatest contributing factors in motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries.
While texting behind the wheel tops the list of what seems like an endless list of distractions, other risky actions include talking on the phone or to others in the car, setting your navigation, applying makeup, drinking or eating, and more.The problem is only getting bigger – distracted driving contributed to 21% of fatal collisions every year, up from 16% a decade ago (Transport Canada). A tragedy can happen when you take your eyes off the road, even if it’s just for a second.
What Do The Statistics Say?
Distracted driving takes your eyes, ears, hands, and mind off the road. Here are some statistics on distracted driving:
Canadians say that texting while driving is one of the biggest threats to their personal safety on the road.
– CAA, 2018
Distracted driving fatalities have surpassed those caused by impaired driving in some parts of Canada.
– Traffic Injury Research Foundation, 2019
of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% of those admitted to still doing it.
– Think Insure, 2019
The likelihood of a collision is 3.6 times more likely when using an electronic device.
– Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 2019
Mobile phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes annually.
– National Safety Council, 2019
Sending/reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 sec. At 90 km/h, that’s driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
– National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Smartphones Have Become A Big Factor In Distracted Driving.
Using music, apps, maps, messaging platforms, and social media while driving is just as fangerous as calling or texting. While most Canadians recognize the risks of distracted driving, 1 in 6 young Canadians have admitted to driving distracted in the past. Technology is constantly changing and new distractions will be introduced. It’s important young/new drivers understand the value of engaged driving.
How To Avoid Distracted Driving:
Before You Drive:
- Give yourself plenty of travel time
- Set the GPS and review directions before driving
- Stow and secure loose objects
- Prepare children with everything they need before driving
While You Drive:
- Do not text, use apps, or check social
- Keep two hands on the wheel at all times
- Avoid eating and drinking while driving
- Keep your eyes on the road
Higher Risk Of Collision
Drivers are up to four times more likely to get in an accident when talking on a phone while driving.
Distracted drivers are estimated to be a contributing factor in eight out of every ten crashes reported to police.
Distracted Driving Laws And Penalties
While distracted driving is against the law in Canada, provinces and territories follow their own set of rules. While distracted driving is against the law in Canada, provinces and territories follow their own set of rules. Depending on where you live, driving while distracted can result in fines, demerit points, and even license suspension.
Penalties In Nova Scotia:
- First offence = $233.95 fine + 4 demerit points
- Second offence = $348.95 + 4 demerit points
- Third & further offence = $578.95 + 4 demerit points
Penalties In Prince Edward Island:
- First & further offence = fines between $575 to $1,275 + 5 demerit points