Talking on the phone. Texting. Using GPS. Drinking that morning double-double from Timmy’s.
These harmless acts are part of every day life. But when carried out while driving, they can pose a serious risk to drivers and those around them.
Consider these statistics published by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). People who talk on their cell phone while driving are four to five times more likely to experience a crash or near-crash event. And people are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident when they’re texting and driving. In fact, when cruising at a speed of 90 kilometres per hour, glancing at a text message for just five seconds is like driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
The monetary consequences of traffic crashes are devastating, costing Canada upwards of $10 billion per year in healthcare costs and lost productivity. But the real cost is so much more—people’s lives. Help keep Canadians safe by providing safe driving tips and promoting your message with safety giveaways.
Promote attentive driving with these safe driving tips
Currently all 10 provinces and 2 of the 3 Canadian territories have legislation in place to prevent distracted driving. But according to the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, it remains a problem. Drive home safety with your patients to ensure a safe ride for all:
- Include in-office risk assessments: If your office or clinic provides primary care, you’re likely already polling patients to determine healthcare risks (seatbelt use, physical activity, alcohol intake and more). Add distracted driving to the list of Q&A to begin a dialogue. Take the opportunity to share safe driving tips as well as the risks involved with distracted driving. Imprint a reminder on a car freshener or removable sticker that can be handed out post-visit.
- Offer seminars: Emergency and trauma departments, acute care and rehab clinics are all too familiar with the effects of distracted driving. Changing this risky behaviour starts with education. Provide a free seminar or course on attentive driving. Focus on instilling good habits in new drivers. And work toward breaking the bad habits of seasoned drivers. Despite assumptions, a report released by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation discovered that middle-aged adults are larger contributors to the problem than young drivers. Promote seminars with signage, on your website and through your social media pages. Encourage registration by offering a free safety giveaway for early sign-up. A logo’d Pocket First-Aid Kit or tissue dispenser makes a nice choice.
- Take to social media: Social media is a great place to post facts and statistics about the effects of distracted driving. You could even link to CAA. Post a fact a week and ask friends and followers to like, comment or share. Go a step further and invite others to take a pledge against distracted driving. Enter people who post their pledge to social media into a prize draw for some premium safety swag—an Auto Safety Kit or roadside safety light nicely complements your message.
Distracted driving can be hazardous to the health of Canadian drivers and those around them. Help put an end to it by sharing safety tips and advice with your patients. Include safety giveaways to drive your message home.