Health, Safety, Security and Environment

Photo of the day: Don’t be Driven to Distraction

7 min read

For many drivers, operating a car or truck may seem second nature, whether it’s for personal or work use. However, no matter what the level of experience or comfort, driving requires your full attention.

With the popularity of cell phones, texting, talking, and e-mailing on the go are increasingly becoming factors in collisions. Share this infographic that highlights the importance of minimizing distractions, along with helpful tips for both drivers and employers to keep the focus squarely on the road.

Driver distraction is a factor in about 4 million motor vehicle crashes in North America each year.

What are the chances?

Drivers who are engaged in the following distractions are X times more likely to be in crash or near-crash event compared with non-distracted drivers

  • Text messaging 23x
  • Talking on a cell phone 4-5x
  • Reading 3x
  • Personal grooming 3x
  • Reaching for a moving object 9x
  • Dialing on a hand-held device 3x

Did you know?

All provinces, along with Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories, have some form of cell phone or distracted driving legislation in place.

A fighter pilot* has about 300 items to keep track of during a regular flying mission
* in a non-combat scenario.

The average driver has about 3,000 things* to keep track of when driving during rush hour
* including pedestrians, lights, signs, passengers, road conditions, construction, other vehicles, cell phones, and objects on the road.

Allow plenty of travel time

Tips to eliminate or minimize distractions

  • Familiarize yourself with the route and directions.
  • Set your radio station or music device prior to driving.
  • Pre-program your route on your GPS device.
  • Listen to your GPS device; don’t look at it.
  • Put any reading materials or distracting objects away in the trunk.
  • Allow calls to go to voicemail. If you must make or take a call, pull over and park at a safe location.
  • Do not eat, drink, groom, or smoke.
  • Avoid emotional or stressful conversations while driving.
  • Keep your eyes and mind on the road.
  • Keep two hands on the wheel.

( Download :Distracted-driving-safety-posters/ ).

What can employers do to help?

  • Establish a policy that prohibits workers from using cell phones and similar devices while operating a company vehicle or operating their own vehicle while on company business.
  • Ensure work schedules are established that allow employees to focus on driving and not their work while operating a vehicle.
  • Install hands-free electronic device capability on company-owned devices.
  • Instruct workers to have a voicemail message that indicates they are driving and cannot respond to calls.
  • Educate workers on the risks of distracted driving.

What are some ‘good’ driving tips?

Most importantly, pay attention. Incidents occur because drivers were not aware of the conditions around them. Be aware and know that distractions can come from many sources at any time.

In general:

  • Be well-rested.
  • Do not consume alcohol, drugs, medications or other substances that may affect driving.
  • Try not to think about personal or business matters, especially those that are upsetting.
  • Do not use cellular phones or other devices if at all possible (including hands-free devices).

Before leaving:

  • Stow belongings properly.
  • Adjust the seat, mirrors, steering wheel, climate controls, etc.
  • Select a radio station or have the music device ready.
  • Plan your route, check the map or read the directions.

While driving:

  • Pay attention.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum (eating, drinking, smoking, adjustment to radio, cell phone use, etc.).
  • Be aware of changing driving conditions such as the volume of traffic, weather, etc.
  • Do not reach for items that have fallen or shifted unless absolutely necessary and can be done safely.
  • Do not write notes while driving and/or talking.
  • Do not glance at incoming messages.
  • Be aware of other vehicles or persons who may be distracted.


  • Avoid using the phone or device.
  • Have a voice mail option and allow it to pick up messages.
  • Pull over to a safe location to make or take the call. Pull out of the flow of traffic especially when on a major highway (do not stop on the shoulder). Tell your caller you will phone them back after you have parked.
  • Have a passenger answer or place the call.
  • Use a hands-free device when using the phone (e.g., voice activation, single touch) but remember the activation process and conversation itself is still a distraction.
  • Make sure other devices are mounted (not moving around) while driving.
  • Pre-program commonly used numbers.
  • Pause conversations if driving conditions become hazardous (e.g., rain, snow, construction, heavy traffic).


  • Do not participate in very emotional or stressful conversations while driving.
  • Do not take notes or look up information while driving. Ask the person on the other end to make notes for you if necessary.
  • Do not use the device, including the text or e-mail feature even when at a stop sign or red light.
  • Do not make gestures while talking and driving.

Reduce the risk – No devices while driving

( Read more: Take-action-against-distraction-staying-focused-to-avoid-injury/).

Download Infographic

Don’t be Driven to Distraction

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