Driving distracted is probably more common than you think.
A new survey by InsuranceHotline.com says one in four Canadians admit to checking their phone while driving.
Insurance expert Anne-Marie Thomas tells Kitchener Today with Brian Bourke on 570 NEWS, the survey asked over a thousand people what they know about distracted driving.
“The one that got me was when we asked ‘are you aware of what the penalties are?’ and the majority of people, over 90 per cent, were aware that they would incur a ticket. 60 per cent of those people thought the penalty should be higher – but they’re still driving.”
She says you should set your GPS before you start driving, and never touch it while still on the move.
“I’m talking specifically about the ones on your phone. The ones that you have in your car, as a part of your vehicle – that’s a different kettle of fish, than using a handheld device to check Google Maps.”
In the eyes of the law, using a phone or a tablet, watching a video, and adjusting your GPS are all examples of distracted driving.
If you are caught, you could face a fine starting at $615 for your first conviction, three demerit points, and a three day suspension, as well as an increase in your auto insurance premiums.
Thomas says it is important to remember that the points come off your record two years from the date you were convicted, not from the date you got the ticket.
“The actual infraction comes off your record after three years. So for example, if you got a ticket today and chose to go to court, and your court case didn’t come up until August, that ticket is on your record from August, not May.”
She says that over 55 per cent of people surveyed by Insurance Hotline.com admit to using Google Maps while driving.