According to a recent study, Ontario teens are starting to recognize the dangers of texting and driving and are engaging in the distracting activity less often. The findings showed that the number of teens who said they sometimes or almost always text while driving decreased from 27 per cent in 2012 to just six per cent in 2014.
The study, published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention was based on surveys from 6,133 teens in 2012 and 4,450 teens in 2014 mostly located in Ontario.
The main reason for the decline, according to the surveys, was that texting and driving is perceived as dangerous and irresponsible. Teens also cited laws and fines, as well as having seen close calls or accidents, as major deterrents.
In Ontario, it is illegal for a driver to text, type, email, talk or dial using a hand-held cellphone or entertainment device. As of Sept. 1, 2015, Ontario implemented stiffer penalties for distracted driving, including an increased fine of $490 and three demerit points. If a driver does not have a full licence, they will receive a 30-day suspension for a first conviction.
According to the lead author of the study, the results show that stricter laws and awareness campaigns are having an effect on teens. The findings, however, are not indicative of what is happening across Canada because each jurisdiction has different laws against distracted driving. Ontario has the highest fines for distracted driving in Canada outside of Prince Edward Island.
Drivers who engage in texting and driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in an auto accident than drivers who are not distracted. If you or a loved one is injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, our lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve.