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!

Mobile banner that reads «Are you tempted to text behind the wheel? Download the Focus Mode application»
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.

By clicking on the video, you will change the context of this page.

Faites appel à un texteur désigné

(in French only)

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.

Static window cling against texting while driving