Friday, October 7, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

In Canada we are celebrating our Thanksgiving this weekend. I know quite a few of my friends are traveling this weekend and although it's not as busy on the roads as during the summer months, there is still a lot of traffic. In BC our Insurance company has issued warnings to pay attention and drive carefully!!

Here are the top excuses that police heard from drivers who were caught using a hand-held device while driving:

--1: "This is a bogus law." This is the attitude that needs to change. Distracted driving can have serious and often tragic consequences.

--2: "It was my boss on the phone – I had to answer it." In BC, crashes are the number-one cause of traumatic work-related deaths, according to WorkSafeBC statistics. On average, approximately 30 workers in BC are killed each year while driving.

--3: "I wasn’t using it – I just like to hold it." Some even use the excuse that they were holding their garage door opener or hairbrush. The reality is that driving is a complex task that requires our full attention.

--4: "Sorry officer, I didn’t see you trying to pull me over because I was on my phone." If you don’t notice a police car trying to pull you over, how would you notice nearby pedestrians and cyclists? Studies show that drivers who are talking on a cellphone lose about 50 per cent of what is going on around them, visually, while driving and are four times more likely to get in a crash.

--5: "But it was an emergency call to my wedding planner!" A real emergency would be if your vehicle flipped over in a ditch because you were distracted at the wheel by your phone.

--6: "My Bluetooth died." If your Bluetooth dies, pull over, change your voicemail to let callers know you’re on the road and you’ll return their call when it’s safe to do so.

--7: Driver: "I’m using my speakerphone." Police officer: "No, you’re holding your phone in one hand and steering with the other." Hands-free doesn’t equal speakerphone. If you must take a call, use a hands-free electronic device and keep the conversation brief.

--8: "I’m not driving; I was stopped at a red light." This misconception needs to end right now: the law applies even when you’re stopped at a light or in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

--9: "I wasn’t talking, I was checking my messages." Under the law, drivers can’t use hand-held electronics while driving – that includes checking voice mail, making music selections or looking up phone numbers.

--10: "I was just checking the time." There are no excuses for preventable tragedies. Imagine saying this to the emergency personnel and loved ones of someone seriously injured because of your carelessness.