One of the things Little One noticed on our drive from Manitoulin Island to New York City last Summer was the frequent “Text Stops” along the interstate in New York State.
My six year old is somewhat of a cautious, follow the rules kind of kid. It’s a good thing. She’s really obsessed with safety–especially road safety. She’s six years old and still in a five-point-harness. She’s petite, and doesn’t meet the requirements to move up to a regular booster.
Whenever my phone rings or she hears a “ping” from a message or text while I’m driving, she calls out from the backseat, “Mommy, hands on the wheel! Don’t check your phone!” Though I am always thankful for the reminder, I tell her, “I know! Don’t worry! I never text and drive!”
She says things like “A text or call can wait. Arrive alive.” I’m not sure where she gets these expressions, but I’m happy to know that she is aware of the importance of NOT being on your device while driving and that distracted driving is dangerous.
I’m sure some of you have been in situations when someone in another vehicle has cut you off or wasn’t paying attention because they were talking on their phone. It’s happened to me a few times! Distracted driving is dangerous…for everyone on the road.
National Safe Driving Week
The holidays are almost here, but did you know that this week marks the start of National Safe Driving Week in Canada? When it comes to being safe on the road, distracted driving is a growing concern – according to the Ontario Provincial Police, it now kills more people each year than drunk driving and speeding combined.
To dig into this a bit further, TELUS surveyed Canadians on their distracted driving habits. TELUS discovered that one-third admitted to using a smartphone while driving within the last week! And, thanks to our cell phone addictions, two out of five can’t even make it through the average commute (25 minutes) without feeling twitchy and reaching for our device!
TELUS has launched the “Thumbs Up. Phones Down.” campaign – a social movement focused on increasing awareness of distracted driving and encouraging Canadian drivers to focus on the road; because when your thumbs are up, you can’t text and drive. TELUS invites everyone to join the “Thumbs Up. Phones Down.” movement by not using your smartphones while driving – and by rewarding drivers for positive behaviour with a thumbs up.
So, how can you get involved? Here’s our handy step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Put your phone away every time you get behind the wheel of a car and focus on the road. This part is non-negotiable!
Step 2: Take to the Internet (when you’re not driving, of course!) and share you best thumbs up selfie or video using the #ThumbsUpPhonesDown hashtag to help rally your friends, family and followers around the cause.
Step 3: See a driver with both hands on the wheel? Give them a thumbs up for resisting the temptation and keeping their phone down and eyes on the road while driving.
Wondering just how much of a problem distracted driving is?
It’s big. The Ontario Provincial Police have found that distracted driving now kills more people than drunk driving and speeding combined, and it is also the second-leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C. according to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC).
Because this is so important to us, we conducted our own study and learned some interesting things about Canadians’ behaviour behind the wheel in the process:
- On a weekly basis, one-third of respondents acknowledged using their smartphones while driving, including making non-hands-free calls, checking texts and reading emails.
- Most Canadians understand that using a smartphone while driving is unsafe. When asked to describe the behaviour, 48 per cent said it was “bad”, “stupid” and “wrong.” Surprisingly, just 27 per cent confirmed it is illegal (did you know distracted driving is illegal in all provinces and territories, except Nunavut?) and only 18 per cent described it as “dangerous”, “unsafe” or “distracting.”
- Among respondents, 49 per cent said they feel obligated to address a call, message or text as it comes in while they’re driving.
- Two out of five Canadians can’t make it through their average commute (25.4 minutes, according to Stats Canada) without responding to a call, text or email, while 37 per cent of respondents said they would send a text to their boss while driving and 32 per cent would do the same for their friends.
- As passengers, 70 per cent of Canadians believe using a smartphone while driving is unsafe and that the act makes them uncomfortable, but 24 per cent of passengers in a car with a driver on their smartphone don’t voice their concern.
- Nationally, only three out of four passengers who felt uncomfortable with a driver’s use of a smartphone spoke up about it. In Quebec, all respondents who felt uncomfortable said something.
Go ahead! Post your #ThumbsUpPhonesDown pics and share on social media! Spread the word about TELUS’ #ThumbsUpPhonesDown! Let’s make our roads safer for everyone on them!
Disclosure – This is NOT a sponsored post, but something I believe in and support for personal reasons. All thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are honest and my own.