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Injury Prevention

Distracted Driving

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.

Distractions come in many forms including:

distracted driving

  • Eating or drinking
  • Reading
  • Looking at maps
  • Disruptive passengers including children and infants
  • Pets
  • Grooming activities like applying make-up or shaving
  • Making or receiving phone calls
  • Reading or sending text messages
  • Using other handheld devices such as organizers, laptops, DVD players, video games
  • Entering information into GPS
  • Changing the radio or temperature controls
  • Making lists
  • Daydreaming or thinking about something stressful
  • Looking at collisions, pedestrians or other items in the environment

Driven to Distraction

  • A recent study showed that if a driver takes their eyes off the road for more than TWO seconds they double their risk of crashing.
  • A driver using a cell phone, even hands free, is FOUR times more likely to be in a crash because they have slower reaction time.
  • Research has shown dialing increased driver errors by 2.8 times and texting by 23.2 times! 

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. (Health Stat report) Still not convinced? Start a Simulation to test your Distracted Driving.

Drop the cell! It’s the Law!

  • As of February 1, 2010 it became illegal to use a hand held device while driving.
  • A recent report on distracted driving showed that cell phone use while driving has decreased since the law was introduced.
  • But many people still continue to use their phones while driving!

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


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