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Caution: Distractions at Your Fingertips

Responsible driving in the age of the cellphone

Technology grows and evolves to help make our lives easier, but there are some instances where the devices we rely on to get through our day can actually make some situations more treacherous. In our province, it is illegal to use hand-held electronics while driving (i.e. cellphones, GPS units and MP3 players) and it’s clear why; one out of every 3 deaths on Manitoba roads involves a distracted driver and 7,300 distracted drivers are involved in collisions each year.

Distractions are everywhere, cellphones included. Take a look at the tips below to stay safe, and focused, on the road.

Plan Your Route
To avoid checking traffic or finding alternate routes on your phone in the middle of driving, plan ahead as much as possible for directions and road conditions. If you find that you absolutely need to use an app or your GPS, pull over where safe before grabbing your phone.

Manage Notifications
The great thing about modern hand-held devices is that they are well equipped to help you manage things like distractions. You can put your phone on silent with a quick swipe on your home screen or set up automatic responses that tell someone that you’re driving so you’re not tempted to respond to incoming messages or calls.

Passengers as Co-pilots
If you’re with a passenger and find yourself in need some assistance with directions or simply just changing a song, use the people in your vehicle to help out.

Did You Know?
Using a cellphone while driving reduces brain activity by 37% – brain activity that should be focused on the road.

For all the details on distracted driving and how cellphones can impair your focus, check out MPI’s guide Focus on the Road.