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Danger on the Road

You might think you are most at risk on the road from drinking drivers and those who are talking on their cell phones.

But during the recent national Road Safety Week the Insurance Bureau of Canada(IBC) reminded Canadians that distracted driving is about more than using hand-held devices. In a release, Lindsay Olson of IBC said while putting down the cellphone is a good first step, drivers are urged to limit all distractions. Eating behind the wheel, fiddling with the radio and reaching for a fallen object are just a few examples of distractions that are dangerous and avoidable.

"The danger is more than taking your hands off the wheel; the real danger is taking your attention away from the road and the cars around you," said Olson. Studies show that 80 per cent of collisions are the result of driver distraction.

To help drivers minimize distractions, IBC offers a helpful tip sheet on how to avoid being a distracted driver.

  • Eat before driving so you won't be tempted to juggle distracting snacks behind the wheel.
  • Pull over and park before using a cellphone or other hand-held electronic device.
  • Have a "driving" playlist on your MP3 player and start it before you set the car in motion. That way, you won't be fumbling to find a good song while driving.
  • If something falls, leave it. Never reach for an object while driving, unless it is impeding your ability to control the car; in that case, pull over and deal with it.
  • Deal with predictable distractions before hitting the road. Check the map, adjust the seat, the climate control and the radio before taking the car out of park.
  • If you are driving with pets, make sure they are safely secured and in the back seat.
  • Complete your grooming before you set out, so you won't have to apply makeup, comb your hair or shave while driving.
  • Listen to your GPS device; don't look at it.
  • Make all necessary wardrobe changes before you enter the car.
  • If a situation can't wait - the kids are acting up in the back seat or you need to refer to a map or take an emergency call - pull over somewhere safe to deal with it.

For more information, visit www.ibc.ca.

Read more at Canadian News Wire Here