We have all probably seen that commercial where the young girl is driving her SUV with her friends, the cell phone dings and she begins to type a text to her mother. While texting she swerves into the other lane where a woman is driving with her 2 young children in the back seat. The video pauses here and the girl texting and the mother get out and have a conversation. Basically, the mother asks the teen girl to get off the phone, look up and avoid the crash that is about to happen. The teen claims she can’t and she is sorry. It’s a very emotional commercial because it shows that in only a few seconds of your eyes being off the road can have very serious and fatal consequences.
In a society when we want things done right now and do not want to wait, it is understandable how so many crashes occur due to drivers being distracted, if the cell rings do you leave it be or do you pick it up and check it? Car crashes are on the rise and the majority of those crashes are caused by cell phones in one form or another.
According to Alberta’s Distracted Driving laws, it is illegal to do the following while driving;
- Using hand held cell phones – this includes talking, texting, emailing, web surfing and so on
- Using electronic devices – computers, video games, cameras, MP3 players, GPS units
- Reading printed material including maps
- Writing, printing, drawing
- Personal grooming
Some of the things on that list you would probably laugh at, but you can be sure there are people who break these laws on a daily basis. Most often they are lucky and no one is injured, but sometimes the breaking of these laws ends in car crashes and even death.
The average text message takes only 4.6 seconds to write and send. While driving that would take your eyes off the road long enough to drive the length of a football field, blind. (This is based on the vehicle traveling at 55 miles per hour or 88.5km)