Should Texting and Driving Become a Criminal Offence?
Texting and driving is dangerous. You might not think that sending one quick text message is a very big deal, but it is. It takes your eyes, and your attention, away from the road. In fact, drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved in a traffic accident. Compare that to just 4 to 5 times more likely for drivers making a phone call behind the wheel, or 3 times more likely when applying make-up.
Earlier this month Kanetix.ca commissioned a survey of about 1500 drivers – 84% agreed that texting and driving should be a criminal offence. In general, 73% felt that using a phone at all while driving should be considered criminal.
No matter how you feel about it, it is undeniable that texting while driving is a poor choice. Not only can it be dangerous for your health and everyone else you share the road with, but it can really put a pinch on your pocketbook as well. If you get caught texting, even at a red light, you can be fined up to $280. And guess what? We frown upon it in the insurance industry too, which means you may end up paying an additional $75 a year in premium increases.
Distracted driving accounts for 20% to 30% of all traffic accidents. Each year in Canada we suffer $10 billion in losses caused by collision related healthcare costs and lost productivity. That is roughly 1% of our GDP! But we can all help to decrease this number, and it starts with putting your phone down:
- Keep temptation at bay and leave your phone just out of reach
- Have one of your passengers read and return all text messages for you
- If you must stop to read your messages or answer the phone, pull over somewhere safe to do so
Join us here at Alpine Insurance & Financial and vow to stop texting and driving today!
Sources – Majority of Canadians in poll think texting while driving should be a criminal offence Distracted Driving Statistics
Photo – © Stephen Fore – Fotolia.com
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