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Distracted driving related crashes have surged in recent years, suggests company's claims numbers

Last Updated May 14, 2018 at 7:53 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

Insurance company says its numbers find crashes that involved distracted driving have surged more than 50%

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Do you need more evidence you should put your phone down while driving and concentrate on what’s in front of you?

An insurance company’s claims numbers suggest the number of crashes in Western Canada due to distracted driving has increased by more than 50 per cent in just two years.

The spike in our region was the most dramatic, but the folks at Aviva Canada say it shows all the new laws and penalties aren’t having the impact politicians, police and safety experts were hoping for.

Phil Gibson with the insurer admits he’s not really surprised by the numbers. “It’s not just texting while driving. It’s using the phone, sometimes it’s putting on make-up… admittedly, it’s returning phone calls — it used to be a bad habit of mine.

“I think we’ve just slowly drifted away from it,” adds Gibson. “We’re all so busy in our lives, that we’ve just allowed the busyness to follow us into the vehicle and along with us in the commute. And we forget that we have this awesome responsibility as we’re driving to look out for each other.”

The company came up with an “Undistracted Driving” campaign, featuring three drivers who agreed be recorded as they spent 100 per cent of their time behind the wheel focused on driving.

“It’s almost like re-introducing yourself to the joys of driving, versus all the distractions that we’ve become so accustomed to. They found themselves to be more focused and oriented to what’s going on in front and around them,” explains Gibson.