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A Close Look At The Meaning of Distracted Driving

The instructors in drivers’ education classes have long made a point of highlighting the dangers of drinking and driving. Now survey results indicate that students in those same classes should also hear about the dangers associated with distracted driving.

What is distracted driving?

A driver has become distracted when he or she chooses to allow the eyes to focus on more than driving. In other words, that distracted driver has chosen to pay attention to some other task, in addition to those that have to be performed by the person sitting behind the steering wheel.

In Alberta, Canada someone that has been charged with distracted driving must pay a fine of $287, in addition to getting 3 demerit points added to his or her driving record. Usually, that punishment gets stiffened by the insurance company, which increases the cost of the charged driver’s premium.

The reason for the government’s strict enforcement of the ban against distracted driving:

The rules related to the ban have been spelled out in the Traffic Safety Act. Statistics show that distracted drivers are 3 times more likely to get involved in an accident.

What sort of distractions can cause a driver in Alberta to face a fine of $287?

• Using a mobile phone/laptop/gaming device or an mp3 player
• Trying to shoot a picture with a camera
• Typing information into a GPS system
• Reading, writing, printing or sketching
• Applying makeup
• Shaving
• Flossing the teeth

What additional acts can a driver perform without risking the need to pay a fine?

• Eating or drinking
• Smoking
• Talking with passengers
• Using a hands-free phone

Suggested actions for drivers that do not want to be charged with distracted driving:

• Program your vehicle’s GPS before setting-out on a trip
• Plan ahead; make any necessary phone calls before leaving home.
• Put an automatic response text on your mobile phone
• Try to stick with simple snacks, when stopping for any fast food.
• Make certain that you will be comfortable while making a planned trip. Adjust your seat and your air conditioner before you get underway.
• Make sure that you will be a safe driver, as you travel down the road. Do that by adjusting your rear view and side mirrors before you venture onto the street or highway.

Be sure to keep your car in the best possible condition. A pinging or other strange sound can be distracting, especially if it comes from the vehicle that is transporting a driver and, perhaps, passengers. The development of some strange noise ought to be addressed as soon as possible. In that way, it cannot function as a distracting element for an extended period of time. If someone you love has been in an accident, it is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer in Okotoks.