Pay attention

According to the OPP, distracted driving is linked to more collisions on our roads than speeding and impaired driving combined.

It’s a stunning but, not all too surprising, statistic of these times. Distracted driving has claimed the top spot for unnecessary deaths for the past four years. Despite heavy fines, demerit points and the potential for a fine surcharge should a judge take a notion, drivers aren’t getting the message that distracted driving is a problem.

The smart phone describes pretty much any brand on the market today. It can receive emails and texts, run apps, play videos, be used as a phone and even to play games if someone is so inclined. Users have a device in the palm of their hands much smarter and more capable than early computers that would occupy a good part of a desk. Like most tools, the operator is in charge of using it properly.

Hands-free calling via Bluetooth was heralded as a way around the problem of being distracted using a phone. But this has not generated the desired result, making way now for the idea that phones should be blocked or disabled while a driver is behind the wheel. Could it be this distraction is just too tempting for people on the run?

Another good idea is to turn your phone on airplane mode while driving. Believe it or not, for centuries the world existed without returning calls or messages every second of the day.

More likely it is a matter of people not caring or recognizing the potential for danger. Like a lot of things in life, the bad stuff only happens to other people. “Not me,” some might say.

But we know like most things, it’s just a matter of time before an accident strikes. It’s the math.

As our streets get busier and the populations in our small towns swell, it will be even more important to pay attention and get to your destination.