June.28.2017

What is Distracted Driving?

distracted driving laws BC

According to ICBC, distracted driving was involved in of one in four deaths on BC roads – 78 people die each year because someone wasn’t paying attention to the road. But what is distracted driving?

It’s any activity that takes your attention away from the road while you’re operating a vehicle. This includes things like adjusting the radio, using a navigation system, eating, or using a cell phone for texts or calls.

Distractions come in three forms:

  • Manual – when your hands to leave the wheel
  • Visual – when your eyes leave the road
  • Cognitive – when your mind wanders and concentration drifts

Using a hand-held cellphone checks all three on that list. Your hand is off the wheel, your eyes are on the phone, and your mind is focused on the message or communication you’re receiving. A deadly triple threat.

In 2010, the province banned using hand-held devices while driving. Then in June of 2016, the fines and penalties were increased. And, yes – using your phone at a red light, stop sign, or in slow moving traffic is breaking the law.

We can all do our part to curb distracted driving. Minimize your distractions by locking away your phone, or pull over if you must take a call or respond to a message. And only use hands-free mounted devices that are single-touch or voice activated.

Driving requires your full attention – manual, visual, and mental – so put your phone down and drive.

For more information

  • Police can allege distracted driving even if you aren’t touching your phone, Georgia Straight
  • B.C. Supreme Court ruling sets strict standard for distracted driving, Global News 
  • Distractions While Driving – Cell Phones and Other Devices, BC Government

David McCormick

David McCormick

David joined Slater Vecchio in May 2013. He began his legal career as a criminal prosecutor where he was involved in cases involving dangerous driving, driving without due car and attention, impaired driving, and more.