Recent statistics show that approximately 46% of teenagers and 89% of all drivers text on their cell phone while driving. These numbers are expected, but still very alarming. Texting is certainly a quick and efficient way of sending a message to someone, be it your boss advising you of additional information for the upcoming meeting, your wife asking you to bring home supper, or a friend inviting you over for drinks.
It seems harmless to take 30 seconds to reply to that important text message, but it is 30 seconds that you have your eyes off the road. In those 30 seconds, you may not see the traffic light turn red, the driver in front of you stop, or the pedestrian crossing the road.
Texting while driving has been named as one of the major contributors to causing traffic accidents resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. Motor vehicle accidents will cause your car insurance rates to skyrocket. This has quickly become a growing problem for Canada and the United States, as more and more people rely on their cell phones for conducting personal as well as company business. Fast paced, hectic schedules make pulling over and safely answering a call or text seems like time that cannot be taken. Instead, we choose to risk ourselves as well as the lives of others in order to save a minute or two.
Recently, texting and talking bans have been implemented in several provinces, including Saskatchewan and British Columbia. This law came into effect on January 1, 2010, for these two provinces. In BC, if you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer because of texting while driving, you face a fine of $164.00 plus 3 points on your driver’s license. You will also face higher auto insurance premiums. These penalties, along with the risk of injuring or killing yourself or someone else, are definitely not worth it. Take a minute or two to pull over and answer your phone, or better yet, wait until you reach your destination. No phone call or text is important enough to die over.