ON THE ROAD with Harvey: Get involved to prevent distracted driving


ICBC Road Safety Coordinator


MOST drivers know to leave their phone alone but some people still aren’t getting the message. Distracted driving is a leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C., with an average of 88 deaths every year.

Some drivers spend more time on the road than others like, salespeople, realtors, taxi drivers and couriers and this means more opportunities to crash if they’re driving distracted.

Crashes are the leading cause of workplace fatalities in B.C. On average, 23 workers are killed and 1,290 injured every year due to crashes while driving for work.

ROAD Cell Watch volunteersWhile it can be tempting to check emails at a red light or send a quick text message to your colleague or customer when stuck in traffic, when you do, you lose about 50 per cent of what’s going on around you visually. You may worry that by turning off your phone while driving your productivity could suffer or you may miss an opportunity if you’re not constantly connected. But many people find they’re more relaxed and less stressed or scattered as they have time to mentally prepare for an upcoming meeting or task and most importantly, they arrive safely because they’re focused on the road.

If you need a reminder before getting in your car, put a “not while driving” decal on your vehicle to remind yourself and other drivers to leave the phone alone. Decals are available at ICBC driver licensing offices and participating Autoplan broker locations.

Police will be cracking down on distracted drivers this month. Cell Watch volunteers will also be out there reminding drivers to stay focused on the road and local ICBC road safety coordinators will be setting up a driving simulator at community events around the province to help drivers understand how distractions can impact your ability to complete simple tasks.

Everyone plays a role in keeping our roads safe including drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Get involved – start a safe driving policy at work, talk to your family and friends about the issue and share your experiences on social media. No call or text is so important it’s worth risking your life or anyone else’s. Remember, when you’re on the road, stay off the phone. #LeaveYourPhoneAlone