Using any electronic device while driving is dangerous, says Red Deer RCMP Sgt. Mike Zufferli. Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate staff

26 per cent of Albertan drivers feel they can multitask behind the wheel

A recent Alberta Motor Association poll finds that some Albertans feel they can handle driving while distracted.

In the poll, 26 per cent of drivers believed they can multitask behind the wheel, with 83 per cent saying distracted driving is a threat to their well-being.

According to a press release, the most common distractions are in-vehicle information or infotainment systems, mobile phones, the vehicle console, and voice-activated features.

“Distracted driving is the leading cause of collisions in Canada—and our feature-rich vehicles are a growing contributor,” said Jeff Kasbrick, vice president of advocacy and operations for AMA.

“It’s important to remember that every case of distracted driving is preventable, so we urge people to do as much as they can before they drive. Whether it’s setting their destination or finding the perfect playlist, doing it ahead of time will help ensure your focus isn’t pulled from safe driving.”

AMA also says that 23 per cent of drivers noted they”ve had to perform an emergency manoeuvre to avoid a crash due to a distracted driver.

Over the past 12 months, Alberta drivers have also claimed to have witnessed someone interacting with their phone while driving and 81 per cent witnessed another motorist using their phone at a red light or stop sign in the past year.

AMA’s tips to avoid distracted driving include

  • Set your playlist, podcast, safety features, whatever you can, before you drive.
  • Set the digital route (GPS) and review directions before driving.
  • Set your phone to do not disturb.
  • Stow and secure loose objects.
  • Avoid eating and drinking while driving.

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