We're generally pretty happy people, but this one thing is a big pet peeve.
There aren’t many things as annoying in this world as trying to have a conversation with someone while they’re staring at their phone. Aside from having positively dreadful manners, they probably aren’t listening to a word you’re saying. Not that they don’t want to – it’s that they can’t! Multi-tasking isn’t something humans are all that good at. We’re only truly able to focus on one thing at a time.
Now imagine you’re a passenger in a car zooming down a freeway, and the person driving is checking their phone. This is less annoying than it is terrifying. In Ontario, accidents caused by distracted driving have doubled over the past 15 years, and it's estimated that every half hour, someone in Ontario is injured due to distracted driving. Yikes.
With good reason, nearly every province in Canada now has laws surrounding phone usage and other distractions while driving. If you’re caught in Ontario, you’re facing a fine of up to $1000. It would be the most expensive meme you ever sent.
A hit to your pocketbook is just the beginning, though. Some distracted driving charges carry a 30-day suspension and demerit points. Even worse is dangerous driving – a criminal offence that can include jail time of up to 14 years.
But enough with the fearmongering. All that is more than easy to avoid by exercising a little willpower. Here’s a few tips to avoid distracted driving:
1. Use a safe-driving app. It helps you stay distraction-free while you’re on the road.
2. Switch your phone to flight mode. No app? No problem. Switch to flight mode – or just turn your phone off completely – to avoid being tempted by flashy notifications.
3. Put your phone out of reach. Out of sight, out of mind. Toss that phone in the glovebox or backseat!
4. Pull over when you have to make a call. Remember when we all used landlines to call each other? No? Well, it was a thing. If there is an important call you absolutely need to make, pull over to a safe area. There isn’t anything that can’t wait a minute.
Tell us how you avoid using your phone behind the wheel by tweeting us @OnliaCA #OnliaCA