Distracted driving is anything that diverts your attention from the road. Distractions take your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel and your mind off the job of driving.
Being distracted, even for a few seconds, can cause a fatal crash because distracted drivers take longer to react to changing road conditions. They fail to see other vehicles and road users and can miss important traffic signs and lights, increasing their risk of collision.
One of the most dangerous distractions is using a hand-held, electronic device while driving to talk, text or email. And in Manitoba, it’s against the law.
Distractions can happen both inside and outside your vehicle. Some of the most common are:
- in your vehicle
- hand-held electronic devices such as cellphones and MP3 players
- passengers – including pets
- eating, drinking, smoking
- adjusting the radio, CD player and climate controls
- programming GPS navigation
- reading – including maps
- personal grooming
- outside your vehicle
- pedestrians and other road users
- domestic animals and wildlife
- building and road construction
- commercial signs
- roadside distractions such as emergency situations
As a driver, it is your responsibility to learn how you can avoid these distractions.