Driven From Distraction: Tips for Safe Driving

Businesswoman texting on her smart phone while driving a car.

In today’s rapidly evolving age of technology, our ability to multitask is challenged with distractions at every turn. Such distraction are dangerous to us, and those around us, especially when we are driving. With the warm weather and the official start of summer upon us, car and pedestrian traffic is on the rise along with increased construction zones. This means that it is time to be especially alert and vigilant while being on the road in order to avoid accidents.

The Law

Section 78.1 of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, as amended, prohibits drivers from holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device, or any other device that is capable of receiving or transmitting telephone communication, electronic data, mail or text messages. If you violate this law, you may be subject to a fine between $300.00 and $1,000.00, and also have demerit points applied to your driving record.

There is also a possibility of being charged with Careless Driving under section 130 of the Highway Traffic Act, which, if convicted, would result in a fine between $400.00 to $2,000.00, and/or six-months of imprisonment, and a potential of a suspended driver’s licence for up to two-years.

If you’re distracted driving causes injury to others, you may be charged with dangerous driving under Section 249(3) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46, as amended. The penalty under the Criminal Code for this offence is a jail term of up to ten years.


Although the law focuses on prohibiting the use of hand-held devices, it is recommend that you avoid the following dangerous distractions while driving:

  • Eating or drinking;
  • Personal grooming, including but not limited to, applying makeup, and adjusting clothing, jewellery, and shoes;
  • Reading maps or printed directions;
  • Setting GPS coordinates, the dashboard clock, or other instruments in the vehicle;
  • Attending to children or other passengers;
  • Attempting to locate items in bags or the back seat;
  • Engaging in arguments with passengers;
  • Listening to the radio or music at an excessively high volume; and
  • Allowing pets to travel on your lap.

Remember, any activity which takes your attention away from the road and surrounding area should be avoided or attended to before or after beginning your journey. With this in mind, you are one step closer to enjoying safe travels at every turn of the summer months to come.

For more information, please contact us at 1-877-771-7006.

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