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Injury Prevention

drivers

All drivers

Most collisions are caused by driver error or behaviours such as speeding, choosing to drive impaired, not wearing seat belts or being distracted. Speed limits are set for safety reasons, as are the laws enforcing seat belt use and eliminating the use of hand held devices.  Speed, impairment and distraction kill, seat belts save lives.

  • Keep your eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel. Driving requires your full attention.
  • Arrive Alive – Don’t use drugs, including alcohol, before or while you are driving – see more on our impaired driving page.
  • Children must be in the appropriate car seat for their height and weight. Child passenger safety is a requirement by law.
  • Maintain at least one car length between you and the car in front of you, more if the weather is not favorable, to allow enough space and time to stop.
  • Signal your intentions early enough to give others time to prepare for your next move.
  • Always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk or pedestrian crossover.
  • Never pass a stopped car when approaching a marked pedestrian crossover.
  • Always look for cyclists before opening your car door into traffic.
Adapted from the Toronto Transportation Safety website.

 

Motor vehicle collisions are the second leading cause of injury death to teens and young adults (suicide is the #1 cause). The involvement of young drivers (15 to 24 years) in serious road crashes vastly outweighs their representation in the driving population.

Young drivers make up 13 per cent of the licensed driving population, but account for nearly one-quarter (25 per cent) of all motor vehicle deaths and injuries, largely due to lack of experience and risk-taking behaviours (e.g. drinking and driving, lack of seat belt use, and speeding).

More information on impaired drivers

In Ontario, no one loses their license based solely on their age. Age alone is not an indicator of driving ability or skill. However once you reach the age of 80 you are required to renew your license. See 80+ renewal below. As people age, everyone experiences physical, mental and sensory changes that can decrease awareness of surroundings, limit ability to react fast enough, and decrease concentration. These changes take place at different times and rates between individuals, therefore, no maximum age limit for people to drive has been set.

80+ license renewal

All licensed drivers are required to renew their license by their 80th birthday and every 2 years after that. 

Mature driver refresher courses are available to help older drivers stay safe and driving longer.  

If you're still wondering whether it is safe for you to be driving, ask yourself these questions:

Am I experiencing an increasing number of near collisions?
Have I been directly involved in minor collisions?
Do I have difficulty driving through intersections, judging distance, or seeing pedestrians, road signs, or other vehicles?
Do I have difficulty concentrating while driving?
Do I get lost or disoriented on familiar roads?
Do I have difficulty co-ordinating hand and foot movements?
Am I experiencing vision problems, especially at night?
Do I get nervous behind the wheel?
Do other motorists frequently honk at me?
Do family members express concern about my driving ability?
Am I taking a medication that can affect my vision, concentration, alertness, hearing or reaction?
Am I experiencing frequent, chronic or severe pain, which impacts my ability to drive safely?

 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider modifying the time of day you drive, reduce your driving or stop driving altogether. You should discuss these options with a family member you trust or your doctor.

Distracted driving is considered operating a vehicle without paying full attention, because the driver is temporarily focused on another object, person, or task.  This can reduce the driver’s awareness of their surroundings, impair their decision making and decrease their performance, increasing the risk of a collision.

Distracted Pic

Distractions come in many forms including:

Texting or using other hand held devices (penalties)
Eating or drinking
Reading 
Making or receiving phone calls 
Entering information into GPS 
Changing the radio or temperature controls 
Daydreaming or thinking about something stressful 
Looking at collisions, pedestrians or other items in the environment 
Looking at maps 
Disruptive passengers including children and infants 
Pets 
Grooming activities like applying make-up or shaving 
Making lists 

Cell phones are the most dangerous distraction… Why?

They distract drivers in two ways- physically and mentally 

Physical distraction when the driver uses the phone and drives. 
Mental distraction when the driver divides their attention between tasks—driving and talking

Still not convinced? Start a Simulation to test your Distracted Driving.

Take a look at MTO's site for the facts and consequences.  See the Road - Driving requires your full attention.

 

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