Stay focused on the road
While distracted driving is commonly attributed to electronic device use, whenever a driver participates in a non-driving activity, it has the potential to distract them from the primary task of driving. Any task that takes your eyes and mind off the road is considered to be a distraction. It only takes a second to be distracted and it can pose a serious threat to your safety as well as those around you – inside or outside your vehicle.
A BCAA distracted driving survey of British Columbians with a valid drivers license who drive regularly found that 93% of BC drivers consider themselves to be focused drivers, yet they are also engaging in the following actions which can take their attention off the road:
Top Distracted Driving Behaviours
Interacting with passengers
Adjusting climate control
Scanning street signs & numbers
Eating or drinking
Checking out the scenery
How Distractions Affect Cognitive Function
Visual distractions take eyes off the road – at 100km/hr, drivers travel 52 metres or the length of a hockey rink blind in 2 seconds.
Manual distractions take hands off the wheel – drivers often steer in the direction their hand is reaching.
Cognitive distractions take our mind off the road – drivers fail to recognize hazards because our field of vision shrinks.
Auditory distractions interfere with hearing external cues – audible notifications take attention off the driving task.
Drivers engaged in the following distractions are more likely to be in a crash or near collision event compared with non-distracted drivers. Taking your eyes off the road for even 2 seconds doubles the risk of an accident.
Using the Phone
Reaching for an Object
(AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety)
Eating or Drinking
*These are the findings of a survey conducted by BCAA from February 23-26, 2021 with a representative sample of 800 online Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum.