25 Jan Eyes on the road, not on the screen
We are a long way from the time when we had to pull over to the side of the road to get out the paper road map or ask a passenger to read the map and tell us the next exit to take.
When you think about it, it’s incredible how much things have changed over the past thirty years. Much has been great, but maybe it hasn’t come without a cost: have we all become reckless behind the wheel, with the many distractions as cars become “smarter”?
Studies mention that programming the navigation system – while we drive – is one of the tasks most likely to distract us from the road. This can take up to 40 seconds! The next most distracting activities are: making a call, sending a text message and tuning the radio.
“Even a quick glance can lead to a costly collision”, said Peter Braid, CEO of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada.
We too often forget the consequences of all these small gestures that sometimes give the impression of playing Russian roulette. Every time we “dare” look away from the road, for several consecutive seconds, we risk becoming part of the statistics: deaths, injuries, property damage, fines and rising insurance premiums.
Imagine for a moment a hundred half-concentrated drivers sharing a three-lane highway. The level of danger that this represents for each of these people is astounding.
Let’s make a pact; promise to avoid looking at all the screens in our vehicle – all these sources of distraction – to focus exclusively on the activity at hand, which is driving a car.
In closing, here are some great tips:
- Program your navigation before departure or pull over to do so. It is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with your destination ahead of time.
- We all know how much the auditory cues on navigation apps can be distracting. If that is possible, ask a passenger to direct you and leave the navigation tool muted.
- Lastly, do you actually need to receive calls, text messages or else while you’re on a busy road or an unfamiliar neighborhood? Put the phone aside during the trip. People trying to reach you will be much happier to hear from you after the ride than to talk to you… for the last time.
Jackie Beaudoin, Leclerc Insurance and Financial Services
Source : The Canada Safety Council