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. This means that people can’t drive safely when distracted. Driving while talking on the phone, for example, pulls our eyes and focus off the road. The result can be decreased reaction time and compromised judgment. You may not see a road hazard until it’s too late.

Texting while behind the wheel is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. It’s also one of the most hazardous. Drivers are 5 times more likely to crash when on a cell phone, according to ICBC statistics.

Research suggests texting may be 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.

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

Tips for drivers

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

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.
Webinar

Manage Driving Distractions in Your Workplace

Distracted driving accounts for 28% of all fatal crashes in BC. Learn how you can help prevent them.
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.
Distracted Driving Policy Template
Word 32KB
Communications Plan Template
PDF 132KB