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Changes Coming for Distracted Driving Convictions

By April 19, 2021April 23rd, 2021Personal Insurance
Changes Coming for Distracted Driving Convictions

When it comes to traffic violations, not all tickets are created equal. In the coming weeks, some insurers will start treating distracted driving while using a hand-held communication device as a major conviction.

Minor traffic violations are the common things we’ve all heard of –  speeding, traffic signal violations, stop sign violations, and failing to wear a seatbelt. These types of violations usually result in a ticket and a small fine, as well as lost points on your license.

A major traffic violation is a much more serious offense which, although it may not be considered a criminal offense, carries larger fines and usually results in more points lost on your license.

The Data

According to Cambridge Mobile Telematics, who hosted the webinar Road Safety in the Digital Age: The Impact of Phone-Based Distraction, drivers are distracted by their phone in 40% of all driving trips.

“Instead of saying how bad it is to be distracted, insurers and governments should be educating drivers to scan their surroundings for threats”, said Jay Winsten, director at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. This includes keeping an eye out for other drivers who may be distracted.

Surveys and anecdotal evidence suggest people are confident in their own driving abilities, Winsten observed in Canadian Underwriter. What’s more, they believe everyone else on the road is dangerous.

Safety First

“With regard to distracted driving, given the kind of digitally-connected world — that social world — within which we’re all embedded, it’s almost an unnatural act when you get into your car to set aside your access to your entire social universe, both on the business side and on the personal side,” he said. “And when you combine that with the fact that most drivers believe that they are above-average drivers who can handle multitasking, and they’re scared to death of ending up with a crash caused by the other distracted driver…they don’t think that they’re going to cause the crash.”

Allowing yourself to become distracted while driving can lead to dangerous, and even fatal, consequences. Be a responsible motorist and make paying attention to the road your number one priority when you’re behind the wheel.

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