Tool Kit

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of fatal crashes in BC. It’s also preventable. And it’s not just about phone use. There are many potential distractions. Learn how anything that takes attention away from driving can put people at risk.


What is distracted driving?

It’s any activity that diverts a driver’s attention while behind the wheel — even for a moment. The distraction can be something we hear, see, touch, or think about. Examples include:

  • Texting or calling (even hands-free)
  • Using any electronic device, such as a smartwatch
  • Adjusting the vehicle seat, mirrors, or entertainment systems
  • Eating or drinking
  • Talking with passengers

Why distractions are risky

It’s a myth that our brain can multi-task. It can only deal with a certain amount of information at once. That means your can’t drive safely when you’re distracted. Driving while talking on the phone or dealing with restless children, for example, can take your mind and eyes off the road. The result can be decreased reaction time and compromised judgement. According to ICBC, distracted driving is responsible for 29% of all fatal crashes in BC.

Mobile phones are one of the most common driving distractions. Drivers are 3.6 times more likely to crash when they’re on their phone. In fact, research suggests that texting is the new drunk driving. A distracted driver can function — or malfunction — in much the same way a drunk driver does. Both have impaired capabilities and judgment. Both have the potential to cause serious injury to themselves and others on the road.


Tips for employers

Anyone in your organization who drives on the job can be at risk. This includes, for example, delivery drivers, managers, warehouse workers, office staff, and sales reps.

It’s important to remember that most distracted driving is preventable. And preventing crashes can help protect your business from increased insurance premiums, possible litigation expenses, lost productivity, negative publicity, and a decrease in employee morale.

You can take action to reduce distraction. Here are steps employers can take to help reduce the risk:

Create a distracted driving policy
Communicate and enforce your policies
Support your employees
Set an example
Reward performance

Tips for drivers

If you’re caught distracted driving, you’ll be ticketed and receive a fine of $368. Every ticket also adds 4 driver penalty points to your driving record. If you have 4 or more points at the end of a 12-month period, you pay a premium on your insurance. You may also have to pay a premium if you get more than 1 distracted driving ticket in a 3-year period.

You can be distracted even when driving for only a few minutes. Here are some steps you can take to help reduce your risk:

Texting and calling
Using a navigation system
Playing music
Eating and drinking
Talking to passengers
Personal grooming

Resources

Template

Distracted Driving Policy Template

Distracted driving can be prevented. Customize this template to create procedures your drivers can follow to reduce the risks created by phones and other distractions.
Form

Communications Plan Template

You need to communicate road safety information clearly to your employees. Use this template to help decide how to share the message and the key points you’ll focus on.
Tailgate Meeting Guide

Preventing Distracted Driving

This guide helps drivers understand that distracted driving is more than just using their phone.
Quiz

Distracted Driving Quiz for Drivers

How much do you really know about distracted driving? Take this 9-question quiz to test your knowledge and get tips for reducing your risk of crashing.
Quiz

Distracted Driving Quiz for Employers

How much do you know about preventing distracted driving in your workplace? Take this 6-question quiz to test your knowledge and get tips for what you can do as an employer.
Webinar

Distracted Driving: More Than Just Phones

Phones are the most well-known cause of distracted driving, but they’re not the only ones. Use these tips to reduce distractions while driving, and to help ensure you’re obeying the law.