A new report from Telus has found that 36 percent of Canadians have used their smartphone illegally while driving within the past week.
Of all the people who took part in the survey, 49 percent said they felt obligated to answer a phone call or a text message while driving. Only two of every five Canadian drivers will make it through their entire commute without looking at their phone or responding to a call or message.
Even though a large number of Canadians are guilty of using their smartphone while driving, 70 percent of them believe that this behaviour is unsafe. In order to reduce the number of distracted Canadian drivers, Telus recommends putting your phone on silent and in a location that you can’t see it. If you need to answer a call or message, safely pull over and put your car in park before responding. Finally, if you are a passenger in a vehicle where the driver is using their smartphone while driving, speak up.
The Ontario Provincial Police said that distracted driving is now responsible for more fatalities than speeding and impaired driving combined. Telus’ senior vice president of consumer marketing Brent Johnston said:
“Distracted driving laws exist to protect all Canadians and while mobile devices have changed our lives for the better, we must recognize and respect that driving requires 100 per cent of our focus. As a leading national wireless carrier, TELUS has a responsibility to address distracted driving head-on by educating Canadian drivers to make smart and safe decisions and encouraging passengers to speak up. Our ‘Thumbs Up. Phones Down.’ campaign will do just that by creating a social movement that promotes and celebrates safe driving.”
Today marks the start of National Safe Driving Week, which runs until December 7, and Telus is promoting their “Thumbs Up. Phones Down.” campaign to increase awareness of distracted driving.