Distraction is normal and human. However, the human brain is not meant to carry out multiple complex tasks at once. At the wheel, distraction occurs when you turn your attention from driving to concentrate on something else. However, driving is a complex task that requires all of your attention! A call, a text message, a notification, changing the song, however important—these things will never be as important as your safety or that of others.
Using an electronic device while driving considerably increases the risk of an accident.
At the wheel, using an electronic device:
For a more concrete idea of the dangers of using an electronic device at the wheel, go to our section entitled Did You Know?
When you text and drive:
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 or making a voice command is a source of distraction.
If you do use a hands-free device, we recommend that you solidly mount your phone on a support device. The phone must not interfere with driving manoeuvres or prevent any equipment from working properly (e.g. an air bag), and it must not pose a risk of injury in the event of an accident.
Screens aren’t the only source of distraction at the wheel! Anything that catches your attention is a distraction. There are 4 types of distraction that can ultimately pose a risk to driving:
Distraction can affect more than one ability at a time. Oftentimes, a task performed while driving is the source of many types of distraction.
Create good habits to reduce your risk of getting distracted at the wheel. For example, before hitting the road:
Remember that the calls, texts and notifications you receive are probably not urgent. If they are, park your vehicle before answering them.
You can stop at a safe place such as the parking lot of a rest area or shopping centre, or even on the side of the road where you are authorized to do so. The shoulder of a highway is a safety corridor reserved for emergency situations and is not an appropriate place to check or use your device!
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Last update: July 14, 2023