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Distracted While Driving

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May 15, 2013

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Distracted While Driving

distracted-while-drivingObviously using a handheld device while driving is not a good idea, but aren’t there other things that distract drivers just as much or even more?

That sloppy Big Mac that you’ve just picked up at the drive thru- there is no way to eat that thing with one hand without wearing it. That means trying to steer with your knees while you gulp it down. Forget trying to wash it down with a soda at the same time, you don’t have enough hands for that too.

How about coffee? Should we ban drinking coffee and driving? Is it already a violation of the new distracted driving legislation?

It’s not, but at a police officer’s discretion, the driver could be charged with careless driving, or even dangerous driving. A careless conviction in Ontario will net you 6 points, up to $2000 in fines and the possibility of 6 months in jail. If you seriously hurt or kill somebody because you were distracted, a criminal charge of dangerous driving could cost you up to five years in jail.

Beyond distractions, you’re less able to make emergency manoeuvres if necessary, when you’re shaving, trying to apply mascara, or work around that drippy lid on your refillable travel mug.

Use common sense. That black coffee that you just got from the drive thru is going to be too hot to drink immediately, so don’t even try it while you’re hitting the off ramp. As for rolling up your rim, save it for later. If people start causing accidents due to recklessness, the government will be forced to crack down on us all.

Australian researchers have shown that one of the worst driving distractions is something that parents do every day: driving with their kids in the back seat. Their study found that children distract the driver 12 times more than talking on the cell phone while driving does. The researcher’s findings showed that during a 16 minute trip, the average parent takes their eyes off the road for three minutes and 22 seconds, often to glance at their kids in the back seat. Parents also often position their rear view mirror so that it’s pointed towards the children, rather than what’s behind the vehicle. Fathers seem to be the worst offenders, looking at the back seated children more frequently and for longer periods than mothers.

Calming babies, and breaking up fights between siblings doesn’t stop when parents are behind the wheel. According to AAA, drivers are distracted by babies eight times more than they are by adult passengers.

Various studies have shown that the three biggest distractions while driving are driving with children, in order, are driving with adults in the rear seat, and cell phones.

Maybe it’s time to invest in a limo style divider between front and back.

Drive responsibly.

By Linda Aylesworthcar-news.ca

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