According to Alberta Insurance Council, motor vehicle crashes in Alberta are up 23% over the past few years. In 2016, there were 320,000 motor vehicle crashes. This averages out to 875 crashes per day. Much of this is due to the increase in distracted driving. If you are having a hard time tearing yourself away from your phone while driving, you may want to reconsider. Alberta Insurance Council has now partnered with the government to crackdown on distracted driving. And Saskatchewan injury lawyers are suggesting you pay attention.
No Small Sum
With the new rules on distracted driving, you could face a $2,000 premium increase in your insurance alone. That’s no small sum. This month, officers will be doing special surveillance in order to spot drivers who are using their phones while driving. And Alberta Insurance Council is testing new technology that will render your phone useless while driving. When it comes to distracted driving, BC isn’t messing around.
Distracted driving is a huge problem. Just considering the data is mind blowing.
● Distracted driving factors into more than 25 percent of all motor vehicle collisions in British Columbia
● According to the government, drivers fail to process approximately 50 percent of visual information within their environment if they are using a smartphone.
● One in four deaths on BC roadways involve distracted drivers
● Deaths from distracted driving collisions have now exceeded those caused by alcohol-related accidents.
BC has taken a tough stance on distracted driving since 2010 but with ever increasing accidents due to distractions, the province has upped the ante. The new rules are specific when it comes to your smartphone. It is only considered hands-free when it is secured to the vehicle or to the body when driving. When the display is mounted to the vehicle, it not only matters where the screen is but what is showing on the screen. There can be absolutely no video visible to the driver while driving.
Alberta Insurance Council has set out some distinct rules regarding the use of electronic devices:
● A driver may not use a cellphone even while stopped at a red light or stopped in traffic.
● You may never hold your phone while driving and can only use voice commands via Bluetooth, headset, or speakerphone. The phone must be secured to the vehicle or the body before driving.
● If you have a Learner’s or Novice license, you may not use any electronic device at all, even in hands-free mode.
Alberta Insurance Council believes that even checking your phone while stopped at a light is a dangerous distraction. According to them, “it affects your situational awareness.”
With the problem of distracted driving in today’s world, Alberta is taking a stance. Make sure you are not putting your or someone else’s life in jeopardy. Put down that phone. If you have been involved in an accident due to a distracted driver, call an accident lawyer to understand your legal recourse. At BLAB Personal Injury Lawyer, we offer a no-cost initial consultation.