Distracted driving is a problem for everyone on the road. In fact, statistics compiled by police agencies around the country are beginning to show that distracted driving causes even more accidents than impaired driving. To keep your Calgary auto insurance rates low, you’ll want to avoid making claims and causing at-fault accidents, and eliminating distracted driving practices is one of the key ways to lower your risk.
Using hands-free devices is a great place to start, but new studies have shown that they still create enough of a distraction to pose a risk to you and others. In Alberta, it is illegal to use handheld cell phones, compose texts and emails, use electronic devices, or enter information into GPS units while you’re behind the wheel. So what are the safest ways to use communication and navigation technologies when you’re driving?
Calgary Auto Insurance: Safe Use of Electronic Devices
When it comes to cell phones, your best bet is to pull off the road before using them. This is equally true regardless of whether you’re making or receiving a call, composing or reading a text message, or checking your voice mail. You need to keep both hands free and your full attention on the road to stay as safe as possible.
- Smartphones can be mounted in many places, including:
- Air vents
Don’t keep them in your hand, in your lap, or in your seat. A momentary distraction could prove fatal to you or to someone else.
Calgary auto insurance providers recommend additional safety precautions to follow when you’re using GPS units. These handy devices have made getting lost a thing of the past, but it’s not a good idea to fuss with one while you’re behind the wheel. Instead, follow these GPS safety tips:
- Program your route before you leave. While it’s not always possible to avoid last-minute route changes, you should always program your route and take a minute to review directions before you disembark on your journey. This helps you avoid confusion and correct errors before it’s too late. A simple typo can lead you a long way in the wrong direction.
- Master GPS operation ahead of time. Before you mount the GPS unit in your car, read through the instruction manual and make sure you know how to access all its options and features. You’ll save time on the road and avoid frustration.
- Avoid programming while you’re driving. Sometimes, routes and destinations change when you’re already on the road; at other times, you might miss a turn or an exit ramp and need to reconfigure your location. These things happen. However, you should never program a destination or location into the GPS while your vehicle is in traffic. Always pull over safely or stop in a parking lot.
- Get a good mount. Your GPS’s mount is extremely important. A good mount makes the unit easily visible and accessible without interfering with your view of the road. If your unit didn’t come with a mount, or if the factory mount isn’t ergonomically optimized, consider an aftermarket upgrade.
Finally, remember that GPS directions are suggestions, not commands. If a GPS system guides you to a closed road or another inaccessible place, don’t follow its advice. This may seem to go without saying, but traffic fatalities have occurred because drivers followed errant GPS directions into serious trouble.
Calgary Auto Insurance: Choose Lane’s for All Your Insurance Needs
Lane’s Insurance is a leading Alberta-based insurance brokerage providing comprehensive auto, home, business and travel insurance. We work closely with select providers, and our clients are our number one priority. We always work hard to secure the lowest possible rates on the complete protection you need.
We’re also pleased to offer insurance bundles that can save you as much as 20 per cent on your premiums. Visit us online today for a fast, free, no-obligation quote, or contact your local Lane’s Insurance office to speak to a customer service representative.