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Fatalities from distracted driving to surpass drunk driving for 7th year: Ontario police

By COS staff
| www.cos-mag.com

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has reported its 2015 collision data is shaping up to see a seventh consecutive year in which inattentive driving surpasses impaired driving as a causal factor in the fatal collisions it investigates.

Both of these fatality categories are dangerous, preventable driving behaviours that result in the senseless loss of life on Ontario roads every year, said the OPP.

OPP collision data reveals that driver inattention was a causal factor in 12 of this year's 51 fatal collisions to date. In five of the fatal incidents, it was the driver who was found to be driving inattentively who died.  In two incidents, the driver who died did nothing wrong and was driving properly at the time of the collision. Three of the incidents involved a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle. Nine of the deceased were males, three were females and their ages range from 33 to 88 years old.

"Distracted driving is a danger to all road users. Fortunately, these same road users are in a position to help put a stop to it. We want to see everyone develop and maintain a complete intolerance for distracted driving and make it the socially unacceptable driving behaviour that it should be," said chief superintendent Chuck Cox, commander of the OPP highway safety Division.

Employers can share these tips from the OPP with their workforce for reducing distracted driving incidents:

•Be mindful that distracted driving poses a significant threat to the well-being of your family and friends.

•Start conversations about distracted driving with your family, friends and colleagues.

•If you are in a vehicle being driven by someone who is driving while distracted, always speak up.

•If you see someone driving in a dangerous manner while driving distracted, call 9-1-1 to report them. 

•Be self-disciplined every time you get behind the wheel; do not allow yourself to be distracted in any way while you are driving.  

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