Distracted Driving As Dangerous As Drunk Driving

By Pace Law | January 15, 2015

In this article, the Ottawa Citizen asks the public to view distracted driving the same way as drunk driving:

Across Canada, the cellphone has become the new beer bottle. Instead of being incapacitated by booze, drivers are immobilized by their mobile devices.

In 2013 in B.C., distracted driving caused 77 of 269 road deaths. Speed contributed to 78 deaths, and alcohol/drugs led to 63 fatalities. During 2014, almost 58,000 tickets were issued for distracted driving in B.C. The Ontario Provincial Police said that distracted driving was the number one killer in road deaths they investigated in 2013, suggesting that it has surpassed drunk driving as a risk on our roads.

Yet distracted driving still doesn’t carry the social taboo or the penalties that drunk driving does. How do we stop smartphone addicts from behaving not-so-smart behind the wheel?

Good question. There’s probably no easy answer since, as the article points out, people are never without their phones. They even go to sleep with them. They are a pervasive part of our everday lives. Hopefully, texting while driving will draw the same negative attention as drinking and driving, but it’s probably not going to happen anytime soon.

Speaking of B.C., a recent report claims that since distracted driving laws came into effect in 2010, over 209,000 tickets have been handed out for the offense:

In a recent crackdown in North Vancouver on distracted drivers, there was no shortage of people seen breaking the law.

That’s one reason a whopping 209,000 tickets for distracted driving when using a cellphone have been issued since it became illegal in B.C. in January 2010.

Each month this year, an average of 4,800 tickets have been written for talking, texting and other activities using electronic devices while driving.

Obviously, distracted driving and using handheld devices does not carry the same stigma as drinking and driving. Yet.


Pace Law Firm’s personal injury lawyers have been helping accident victims since 1980.