Injury Prevention Sunnyview

Dangers of texting and driving

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve done it. As a former reporter, and a busy mother of two, there always seemed to be a reason to be on my phone in the car. Setting up interviews, booking appointments and the list goes on and on. So many reasons to be instantly available, and yet, the only one that really matters doesn’t support the theory at all: staying alive.

Ontario’s ban on using electronic devices while driving was a wake up call to the facts: that using a cell phone while driving is as dangerous as getting behind the wheel drunk and dramatically reduces reaction time. It’s like that old game of drawing imaginary circles on your stomach while patting your head and jumping up and down on one foot. Juggle too many balls, and inevitably, one (or more) will drop.

Case in point, Constable Keith Ingram cites a London-based study that found on a daily basis, two pedestrians there either end up in the trauma unit or die because they were using their cell phones. Two a day! They walk into mailboxes, street poles or moving traffic because they are distracted. “If we can’t walk while using a cell phone we certainly can’t drive while using a cell phone,” he says. “At some point we have to say, how important are these calls to us? Are they worth dying for?”

My vote is a definite “no”, and have changed my ways since the provincial legislation was introduced. My phone now stays in my purse until I turn off the ignition. Funny thing is, all my work is still getting done and all those appointments are still being booked. Go figure, life goes on! Andmaking sure I’m part of it is really the point.

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About the author

Monica Matys

Monica Matys is a Communications Advisor at Sunnybrook.

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