If you’re looking at your phone, the police will be looking for you.
February is Distracted Driving Month and the RCMP are looking to cut-down on the on-going issue.
“The consequences of distracted driving can be devastating. It might seem like you have an urgent reason to divert your attention from the roads but, in reality, whatever it is should wait until you can pull over or stop in a safe location," said Gary Graham, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services superintendent. "There's nothing more important than ensuring the safety of yourself, your passengers and others on the roads."
In 2017, 7,611 distracted driving tickets were given out in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions. So far this year, there has been 147 distracted driving charges issued.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers are eight times more likely to get into an accident when they are texting and four times more likely when talking on their phone, even when using a hands free device.
Below are some safety tips to prevent distracted driving:
- Put your phone away. Only use your phone when your vehicle is parked.
- Pull over if you need to make a phone call or attend to kids or pets.
- Make adjustments to the temperature, radio, CD player or your GPS before leaving.
- Properly buckle in your children before leaving.
- Do not attempt to read a map while driving.
- Do not apply make-up while driving.
- Do not read while behind the wheel.
- Make sure no items will slide around or fall over while the vehicle is moving.
Traffic safety is a shared responsibility between drivers and passengers. As a passenger, you can help the driver by making sure you're not distracting them.