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Distracted Driving Continues to Claim More Deaths than Impaired Driving in B.C.

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The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia has announced a new distracted driving ad campaign, set to take place from September 8 to October 11. The goal is to again educate the public on the dangers of distracted driving, which continues to cause more deaths in B.C. than impaired driving.

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ICBC says “distraction and driver inattention is one of the top contributing factors in motor vehicle fatalities in BC and contributes to more than one quarter of all car crash deaths.”

The next month will see a public service campaign urging distracted drivers to “take a break from your phone” with the hashtag #EyesFwdBC.

An Ipsos Reid study on behalf of ICBC saw respondents acknowledge the dangers of distracted driving, yet 38% of drivers said they used their phone during 10% of trips taken.

Police across the province will be enforcing roads more in September, while Cell Watch deployments by community volunteers will help remind drivers.

ICBC says free ‘not while driving’ stickers are available at ICBC driver licensing offices and select Autoplan broker offices, to allow the public to help spread the message.

David Eby, B.C. Attorney General, said in a statement:

“Distracted driving is entirely preventable, as are the crashes and casualties caused by the behaviour. To address this issue, our government is moving forward with a pilot program of new technologies to eliminate distracted driving among high-risk groups, and to increase public awareness of the risks of this dangerous driving behaviour. Drivers need to be part of the solution too: put down your phones before driving; keep them out of reach; and keep yourself, your passengers and other road users safe.”

Every year, on average, 26 people are killed in driving-related crashes in the Lower Mainland, while 8 take place on Vancouver Island, along with 32 in the Southern Interior and 14 in the North Central region.

Check out the video “we need a break” below:

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  • FragilityG4

    Honestly I hope everyone updates to iOS 11 when it’s available and ENABLE the Do Not Disturb While Driving option right away. It makes me sick to my stomach when I realize how much I looked over at my phone when a notification came up before iOS 11. I feel SO MUCH SAFER now that all I see is a black screen. And after just watching Canada’s Worst Driver 12, I am very frightened of other drivers out there texting and taking selfies while driving.

  • SV650

    When you consider the length of time and effort applied to reducing impaired driving, it will take a similar effort to address this issue. So far, other than self-restraint, none of the suggested options for addressing the issue meet my needs for using my phone in a legitimate manner, while providing an assurance that I am indeed meeting a standard.

  • SV650

    My phone is my GPS. A black screen is of little help to me, and Apple Maps is too data hungry to use out of Canada.

  • FragilityG4

    Excuses lead to accidents. You wouldn’t drive drunk just because it’s more convenient right? I hope not.

    I have used iOS maps with it and works fine. I haven’t used an offline map app but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work as it’s purpose is to stop notifications.

  • Marc G

    Are you sures it wasn’t the marijuanas that cause the problems. I thought all BC want is to get stoned. And this what happens.

  • FragilityG4

    Your point of view is EXACTLY why it took so long for people to embrace the concept of not drinking and driving. Moreover, the scary thought is there are many more people out there sharing your same selfish take on the subject. One day you will get it, I just pray it’s before you, or someone else because of you, gets hurt.

  • SV650

    But you have no issue using similar apps, in the same manner as I do. My point is, that like CarPlay, only Apple’s Apps, or a subset of them are available to users. If I choose another application TO DO AS YOU ARE, I am SOL.

    While I respect your position, I have no difficulty self-limiting my device use, and am fully capable of using hands-free technology, having another occupant in a vehicle manage the device, or ever (horrors) safely stopping on the roadside to address communications needs. The issue is that ultimately, we will need to use some tool other than self restraint to satisfy government, or insurance agencies that we are behaving to their satisfaction. This extends to the ridiculous endpoint of someone not owning a cellphone being unable to prove he doesn’t text while driving, because the cellphone he doesn’t own, can’t report using an app!

  • SV650

    Give it a try, and see.

  • FragilityG4

    Let’s make one thing perfectly clear, I do not us apps while driving. When I use my GPS I set the destination before I leave and listen to the turn by turn. I do not use apps; I do not pick up my phone.
    I find it disturbing that you think this is about satisfying government and insurance companies— this is about stopping accidents and needless deaths. For the love of god look at the bigger picture. I’ve put my phone down, you should too… if not for yourself than the other thousands of drivers who all are brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters INNOCENT FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS. This is not about your ease of life… it’s about not ending someone else’s life.

  • FragilityG4

    My god I hope this snarky remark is not in response to the drunk driving.

  • SV650

    No, it refers to offline maps. I walk home after imbibing.

  • FragilityG4

    Good to hear. I will try out offline maps (I use City Maps 2 Go) I’ll let you know.

  • SV650

    If you use a GPS, you are in effect using an App, but on a dedicated device.

    In my original comment I stated ‘legitimate’ uses of the phone while in a vehicle. You repeatedly accuse non-legitimate use. I neither engage in nor advocate such use.
    My phone is either mounted or in my pants pocket when in my vehicle. When in unfamiliar areas, it is my GPS, an App, just like Apple Maps is an App. I, too set my destination before I leave, but find at times turn by turn lacks detail, especially when in unfamiliar territory. It is much safer than any other alternative, such as paper or memory.

    And yes, this issue WILL be managed through insurance companies providing incentives for users to prove via an app that their phone is blocked, or governments dictating of a process. Other than going through the unbearably lengthy process we saw with impaired driving, there is no other means to effectively accelerate the process.

  • FragilityG4

    The effective way is for people to stop making excuses. The tone of your previous posts gives the impression that you are okay with operating an app while driving. This is the problem with being vague and the reason why people think it’s okay to do. They hear a vague response sounding like it’s advocating and they say “yeah just like that guy said”. Now that you have explained your point of view I understand what you are trying to say. In the future might I suggest not referring to using GPS as app use. I know technically it is but the message might be misinterpreted.

  • FragilityG4

    It works fine with offline maps.

  • SV650

    In my world, USING an App means having it run in the foreground or background for a purpose during a time period. INTERACTING with an App is a whole different kettle o fish. Thus I might use the App Glympse or Find My Friends to relay in real time my travel location to my worried spouse, even though I haven’t interacted with it since leaving my driveway. I’m LISTENING to the radio, or Music App, even though when traffic demands, I tune it out. Heck, last Monday, I had to silence the distraction in the passenger seat during a particularly confusing part of the route through an unfamiliar part of an unfamiliar city. She wasn’t too happy about that. I’m definitely USING and interacting visually with a GPS, mostly at slow speeds when in unfamiliar locations.

    I agree word choice is important, and I could have expanded more in my initial post.

    The challenge is that most of the solutions being presented effectively prevent any use of the phone, blocking not only notifications, but incoming calls, safety reminders (including road conditions), and tools (apps) such as GPS, other than possibly some native Apps. Until options appear which allow the safe utility use of the phone, while discouraging unsafe actions, we seem stuck with the forced application of an Application, or slow uptake via self-restraint.

    All new technologies bring challenges. Early automobile drivers had to have a flag bearer proceed down the road ahead of them.

    Personally, I think autonomous vehicles will most likely be our road crash saviours.

  • SV650

    While blocking incoming notifications?
    I’m impressed!

  • FragilityG4

    Find my friends works while in this mode. Same with Life 360, same with the music app, you can even request music via Siri (you won’t see any type). I urge you to upgrade to iOS 11 when it’s available and try it out before jumping to conclusions.

  • SV650

    I’ll be upgrading all our iOS devices a few weeks after the release. I like to give a couple of weeks for the undiscovered bugs to be quashed.

    I look forward to extending your discoveries of usable Apps for driving safety.

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