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Poll: 26 percent of Canadians check messages while driving

Even when they fully understand the value of remaining focused on the road, drivers still allow themselves to be distracted by numerous things in their environment. From talking on the phone to eating, drivers permit their focus to be removed from the task at hand – staying safe behind the wheel. Distracted driving has been a source of concern for both lawmakers and law enforcement for years. Unfortunately, even with stiff penalties and universal awareness, the trend shows no signs of stopping.

One of the most common sources of distraction is the cell phone. As a hand-held computer that sees its functionality increase with every iteration, 84% of Canadians acknowledged having a mobile device with them while operating a vehicle. In a 2019 survey, InsuranceHotline.com uncovered some troubling statistics. For example:

  • 41% of Canadians polled have checked messages while stopped at a traffic light
  • 26% of Canadians polled have checked messages while operating a car in motion
  • 3% of those polled admit to watching a video while driving
  • 40% of those polled admit to making phone calls while driving

Many drivers rely on their skill and experience behind the wheel – convincing themselves that they can multitask and safely operate the vehicle. Unfortunately, this isn’t accurate. Anything that pulls focus from the road is a distraction … even a seemingly rote hand movement to take a sip from a coffee travel mug is a Manual Distraction that can slow reaction times to stopped traffic or slick road conditions.

Depending on the type of activity, driving distractions can generally be categorized as manual, cognitive or visual. Some activities, such as texting, can distract drivers across all three categories. It is crucial that Canadian drivers remain focused on the road and their surroundings at all times. Motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers could result in serious injuries such as head trauma, paralysis and broken bones. Do not hesitate to discuss your accident and injuries with an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn more about your options for monetary recovery.