Texting and driving is the number-one road safety threat, according to a recent CAA study. And with the long weekend upon us, CAA Saskatchewan is urging drivers to keep your cell phones in the back seat.
Christine Niemczyk is the director of communication for CAA Saskatchewan. She says get all the details done and out of the way before you begin your long weekend travel.
“Make your travel plans, do your navigation before you get behind the wheel,” Niemczyk said. “Mobile phones are used for checking the internet, emails, surfing the net. Not a good time to do that when you’re behind the wheel and driving. That is distracted driving.”
According to a National Highway Traffic Safety report, 80-percent of collisions and 65-percent of near-crashes have had some form of driver inattention as contributing factors.
Niemczyk says the number-one culprit — drivers who who look at their devices to check texts or private messages.
“Texting and driving has become a huge concern,” Niemczyk said. “We do know that Canadians across the country say texting and driving is the number-one road safety threat on the road today. Drivers who text are 23 more times likely to be involved in a crash, or a near-crash event.”
Niemczyk says if you’re distracted while driving, you’re more likely to get into an accident. She reminds drivers if you are checking a text, you are distracted for at least 5 seconds. The time it takes for an accident to happen.
“Make your calls. Make your plans before you get behind the wheel this Labour Day long weekend,” Niemczyk said. “Give yourself lots of time to get where you need to go. We’re going to be on those roads with trailers, boats, campers, motorcycles, and other vehicles. And let’s not forget our farm friends as well, because it is harvest time.”
She says a National Safety Council report says about 26-percent of all car crashes involve phone use, including hands-free phone use.