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

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:

YouTube video

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