Research shows there is a common mindset among drivers that they can talk on their cell phone, text, or engage in other distractions and do so safely. When you are a passenger in a vehicle and the driver engages in any form of distraction, take charge of your own safety. Tell the driver to focus entirely on driving and remind them they are placing your life in danger and that you have the right to be safe. Ten unmarked police vehicles will take to the roads over the Labour Day Long Weekend to crack down on distracted drivers. This is happening on the heels of a survey of licenced Ontario students, in which almost 50 per cent of Grade 12 students admitted to texting while driving.
Thirty-five people have died so far this year in motor vehicle collisions (within OPP jurisdiction) in which a distracted driver was a contributing factor. In 2013, eighty-six people died in distraction-related collisions. More people died in distracted driving incidents than in impaired and speed-related collisions investigated by the OPP last year. As of June 30, 2014, the OPP had laid over 10,000 charges to Ontario motorists who were caught driving while distracted.