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07.30.2016 | AUTO

Careless & Distracted Driving

Texting and driving or eating a snack while behind the wheel can seem like a harmless act but, you could be putting yourself, others and your insurance rates at risk.

According to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, a driver using a mobile device is four times more likely to crash than a driver focusing on the road. Based on that statistic and the widespread adoption of mobile devices, it’s no surprise that Distracted Driving collisions in Ontario have doubled since 2000.

Using a mobile device is just one form of Distracted Driving. You can also be charged with Distracted Driving if you’ve been caught:

  • Reading while driving
  • Eating while driving
  • Grooming while driving (applying makeup, shaving, etc)
  • Typing while driving
  • Texting and Driving

If you’ve been charged with Distracted Driving, you may be facing big penalties and your insurance rates will increase. And, if you cause an accident due to Distracted Driving, you may also be charged with Careless Driving.

Careless Driving is an even more serious charge and is considered a Criminal Offense in Canada. If you’re convicted of Careless Driving you’ll face steep penalties and your standard insurance policy will likely be cancelled by your provider.

In September 2017, the Ontario government is expected to unveil new fines for careless driving. Under the new legislation, drivers convicted of Careless Driving will face a fine of between $2,000 and $50,000, plus up to two years in jail and a licence suspension of up to five years.

The current fine for Careless Driving causing death is set at a maximum of $2,000 plus six months in jail and a licence suspension of two years.

Safe Driving Tips

  • Turn your mobile device to silent while driving. This way, you won’t be as tempted to use it while driving.
  • Ask your passenger to answer any text messages or calls on your behalf.
  • Leave dinner at home! Arrange time to eat before or after your trip so that you’re not tempted to eat while behind the wheel.
  • Let your friends and family know that you don’t take calls or text while driving.

As soon as you’re charged with an serious infraction, it’s recommended that you speak with a non-standard insurance provider that has expertise in helping High Risk drivers. A professional High Risk insurance provider can help get you the coverage you need and help you get back to better insurance rates.

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