Focus on the Road. Dangers of distracted driving Tips for avoiding common distractions Costs and consequences

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1 Focus on the Road Dangers of distracted driving Tips for avoiding common distractions Costs and consequences

2 Focus on the road The most important thing to think about while driving is driving. Distracted driving means any activity that diverts your attention from the road. Being distracted, even for just a few seconds, is all it can take to cause a fatal crash. One in four deaths on Manitoba roads involves a distracted driver. * And one of the most dangerous of distractions is using a hand-held smartphone or cellphone while driving. That means texting, ing or talking on the phone. In Manitoba, it s against the law. If you re convicted of using one of these hand-held, electronic devices behind the wheel, you ll receive a $200 fine and fi v e demerits. Learn how avoiding distractions and focusing on the road will help keep you, your passengers and other road users safe. * Source: Traffic Accident Report Database, Focus on the Road

3 The distracting facts Tragedy can occur in a split second when drivers allow their focus to be diverted from the road. Trying to concentrate on two things at once is risky behavior for every driver and can prove deadly anywhere at any time. Each year, on average, in Manitoba: 28 people are killed in collisions linked to distracted driving.* More than 800 people are injured due to distracted driving, nearly 60 of them seriously.* Nearly 2,500 distracted drivers are involved in collisions.* Almost 5,000 drivers are convicted for using a hand-held electronic device while driving.** 28 killed 800 injured * Source: Traffic Accident Report Database, ** Source: Driver Licensing System, Manitoba Public Insurance Using a cellphone while driving reduces brain activity associated with driving by 37 per cent. *** *** Source: Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging, 2008 Focus on the Road 3

4 Common distractions Distractions can be anything that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel or your mind off the job of driving. Texting while driving, for example, is extremely dangerous because it does all three. Distractions can happen both inside and outside your vehicle. Some of the most common are: In your vehicle using hand-held electronic devices such as cellphones and MP3 players GPS navigation passengers including pets making adjustments to your car radio, CD player and climate controls eating, drinking, smoking reading including maps personal grooming Outside your vehicle commercial signs pedestrians and other drivers domestic animals and wildlife building and road construction roadside distractions such as emergency situations 4 Focus on the Road

5 The costs of distracted driving Distractions aren t just dangerous. In Manitoba it s illegal to use hand-held electronic devices such as smartphones and cellphones while driving. Drivers convicted of violating this law receive a $200 fine and five demerits. Demerits move a driver down the Driver Safety Rating (DSR) scale.* Your position on the DSR scale depends on your driving record. Driving safely moves you up the scale and saves you money, while high risk drivers move down the scale and pay more. If other distractions result in you violating traffic laws or being in a collision, you can be charged with a number of offences such as driving imprudently, dangerous driving or whatever specific offence the distraction caused you to commit (e.g. failing to yield or to obey a traffic signal). Fines and demerits also apply to these offences. You * can find out more about the Driver Safety Rating (DSR) by visiting mpi.mb.ca and clicking on Driver Licensing. Merits for safe driving (BASE) Demerits for higher-risk driving Focus on the Road 5

6 Tips for avoiding distractions Now that you know the dangers, consequences and costs associated with distracted driving, here are some tips to avoid potentially deadly distractions. Stay off your phone Your safest option is to turn off your hand-held device when you re driving. You can use auto-response features on your phone that let others know you re driving and will respond when it is safe. If your phone rings while you re driving, let the call go to voic . Let your passenger answer or make calls or send texts for you. If you do need to make a call or send a text, find a safe place to pull over and stop. Make driving your only task Take the time to get ready, whether that s grooming or planning your route, before you head out on the road. Don t eat on the go. Allow time to eat before you leave or after you arrive. Wait until you are stopped to adjust your radio and stereo. If you need to attend to a child or pet in your vehicle, pull over and stop first. Stay focused when passing a roadside distraction. Studies show driver inattention plays a role in up to 80% of collisions. * 80% * Source: Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Focus on the Road

7 Stay focused. Stay safe. When you re behind the wheel, your focus should be on driving eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, mind on the task at hand. Potential distractions are everywhere, but it s up to you to not let those distractions draw your attention away from the road. Your life and the lives of others could depend on it. To learn more about distracted driving and reducing risk on our roads, visit mpi.mb.ca and click on Road Safety. Focus on the Road 7

8 7/15 FBR0203 Ce document existe aussi en français. mpi.mb.ca

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