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Cell phones behind the wheel: Don’t take unnecessary risks!

Published on May 17, 2017

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Do you ever use your cell phone while you’re driving? Whether it’s to read your emails, send a text message or talk on the phone, you’re not only taking unnecessary risks, but there are serious repercussions if you use your cell phone while driving. The L'Unique General Insurance team is here to debunk a few myths for you on the subject!

Myth No. 1: There are no risks. I can use my phone and concentrate on the road at the same time.
The facts:

  • According to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), using a mobile device while driving reduces the driver's abilities. This includes the driver's field of vision, the ability to analyze a situation, react to road hazards and carry out basic tasks (for example, staying in the lane, driving in a straight line or maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles.)
  • 80% of automobile collisions occur after only 3 seconds of driver inattention. When you text and drive, your eyes are away from the road for 4 to 6 seconds.
  • According to a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study, people who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident. 
  • Since automobile accidents you’re involved in over the last 5 years influence the amount of your insurance premium, using your cell phone at the wheel could cause your rates to increase.

Myth No. 2: Hands-free mode is a safe solution.
The facts:

The simple act of talking on the phone is a source of distraction, which considerably reduces your driving attention. Even if their use is authorized by the SAAQ, hands-free devices are still not recommended. To make a call safely, park first in an appropriate location.

Myths Nos. 3 and 4: I can hold my mobile device while driving if I’m not using it. I can use it when my vehicle is stopped at a red light or stuck in traffic.
The facts:

The law forbids holding a mobile device in your hands while driving a road vehicle in a traffic lane, whether you are using the device or not, and whether your vehicle is moving or stopped. You can expect a fine of $300 to $600, a license suspension for 3 to 30 days and 5 demerit points if you don’t abide by this law.

Myth No. 5: I can’t resist using my cell phone when driving.
Here are a few tricks to help you:

  • Turn off your phone before getting into the car.
  • Ask someone else to answer your text messages or calls.
  • Install the SAAQ mobile phone app Focus Mode, which blocks incoming calls and text messages while you’re driving.

Your insurance broker is there to help you prevent losses. Feel free to contact him or her!

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