What is Distracted Driving?
- Talking on your cell phone
- Eating food or drinking
- Fussing with driving controls
- Trying to figure out directions
- Reaching for something in the car
- Being “too” into your music
- Outside distractions
- Chatting with passengers/having lots of friends in the car
Why are teens more at risk for being involved in a motor vehicle crash?
Risk taking/decision making: teens take more risks when driving due to their overconfidence in their driving abilities. Young drivers are more likely to engage in “risky behaviours” like speeding, tailgating, running red lights, violating traffic signs and passing dangerously.
Poor hazard detection: the ability to detect hazards when driving depends upon perceptual and information-gathering skills. It takes time to develop these skills.
Low risk perception: this means the ability to assess the degree of threat posed by a hazard and your ability to deal with it. Young new drivers tend to underestimate the crash risk in hazardous situations and overestimate their ability to avoid the treat.
Lack of skill: It takes time to master basic vehicle handling skills
Alcohol and Drugs
Carrying passengers: For teenagers, the risk of being in a crash increases when they have passengers-the fatality rate for drivers aged 16-17 years is 3.6 times higher than if they were driving alone. Passengers can distract the driver and encourage them to take more risks – especially young males riding with male drivers
Not wearing seatbelts: Teens have the lowest rate of seatbelt use
Stop Distracted Driving! Pay Attention to the Road!
- Ask your passengers to keep conversations to a minimum and help you navigate
- Deal with potential distractions before you hit the road
- Be well rested before you drive
- Make sure you have clear directions before you leave
- Familiarize yourself with the dashboard controls before you drive
- Pull over if you need to make an urgent call – turn your phone off!
Ontario Ministry of Transportation Links: