Behaviours - Distractions

Cell Phones and Texting: Risks and Solutions

Driving and using your cell phone? Choose one! A call or text message will never be as important as your life or that of others.

The dangers of using a cell phone at the wheel

Using a cell phone while driving considerably increases the risk of an accident.

It has been scientifically proven!

At the wheel, using a cell phone:

  • reduces the driver's ability to analyze a situation and react
  • increases the adaptation time required to maintain a safe distance between vehicles
  • makes it more difficult to perform tasks that appear simple, such as driving in a straight line and keeping the vehicle in the centre of the lane
  • reduces the driver's ability to avoid unforeseen obstacles: potholes, cyclists, pedestrians
  • reduces the driver's field of vision

It has been statistically confirmed!

For more concrete idea of the dangers of using a cell phone at the wheel, go to our section entitled Did You Know?

Useful information

It's basic math!

When you text and drive:

  • your eyes are away from the road for 4 to 6 seconds. That's a long time… Try it yourself (on your couch, of course – please!). At 90 km/h, it's like travelling the length of a football field with your eyes closed.

Hands-free devices are not recommended. They are merely tolerated.

Even if their use is authorized, hands-free devices are not a safer option and are not recommended, as the simple act of talking on the phone is a source of distraction.

If you use a hands-free device, make sure the phone is securely mounted in a holder.

Useful information

Focus Mode: an app designed just for you!

Texto au volant
Use the Focus Mode mobile app. It lets you block incoming calls and text messages on your cell phone.

The app offers a selection of 3 automated replies to incoming calls and messages. You can also create your own personalized message, or choose not to send any message at all.

The app also calculates…

  • The length of time of every trip during which the cell phone was not used
  • The accumulated length of time for all trips

It also allows you to share your statistics and compare them with those of your friends on Facebook.

To talk, send a text message or check something on your cell phone

  • Stop at a safe location and where it is legal to do so… The shoulder of a highway is a safety corridor reserved for emergency situations. This is not an appropriate place to check your cell phone!
  • If a trustworthy passenger is riding with you, ask him or her to “manage” your cell phone for you.

Where is it safe to stop?

You can stop at a safe place such as the parking lot of a rest area or shopping centre.

Villages-relais are another option where travellers are offered a full range of services.

Highway shoulders – for emergencies only!

In addition to being prohibited on a highway, parking on the shoulder is unsafe as there is a risk of collision with other vehicles.

Useful information

A sticker for your rear window: “Non aux textos au volant!” (No texting and driving – available in French only)

The purpose of this sticker is to launch a social mobilization movement against texting and driving.

The  “Non aux textos au Volant” sticker is available at SAAQ service centres and participating Familiprix pharmacies, free of charge.

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