Only a ‘lunatic’ would text and drive: BC Children’s Hospital

Doctor urges teens to put their phones away when behind the wheel

Imagine driving with your eyes closed for 4.6 seconds.

That’s the time it takes you to drive an entire city block. And how long it takes to send a text.

If you think that’s a good idea, you’re wrong, says Dr. Ian Pike, director of the BC Injury Research & Prevention Unit at BC Children’s Hospital.

“It’s just impossible to attend to two things at once,” Pike said. “If you asked a person to drive down the street with their eyes closed for 4.6 seconds, … they would think you were a lunatic.”

That’s why, as the summer heats up and more drivers take to the roads, the hospital is asking everyone to leave their phone alone while at the wheel.

According to Pike, people are 23 times more likely to crash if they text while driving. ICBC found that 34 per cent of crashes involving youth were as a result of distracted driving. In 2015 – the last year for which figures are available – that amounted to more than 10,000 crashes across B.C.

“If you’ve got your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds, you can imagine the distance you’ve covered – particularly at highway speeds,” he said.

READ MORE: Tougher penalties for distracted drivers in B.C.

Pike acknowledged it’s a challenge to get teens, who grew up with cellphones in hand, to put them away while driving.

He lauded the invention of ‘do not disturb’ apps, including the automatic iPhone setting that puts the phone into ‘do not disturb’ as soon as it detects it moving quickly.

Pike said the province can reduce distracted driving crashes in the same way it curbed those caused by drunk-driving.

In 2010, B.C. imposed harsh new penalties and launched a massive education campaign on the dangers of getting behind the wheel impaired.

READ MORE: Remembering Alexa: 10 years after a drunk driver killed a young girl

“The drunk driving campaign is a very good news story,” Pike said. “The millennial generation has really embraced that message and they have really taken responsibility for drinking and driving.”

He pointed to his own millennial daughter, who he says “never went out to party without having a designated driver. They all just take turns.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kootenay fires grow — more evacuation alerts

Syringa fire prompts evacuation alerts plus HWY 3 closure and U.S. fire crosses into B.C.

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

UPDATE: Fire forces closures and delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

Motorists should detour using Kootenay Lake ferry

Evacuation alert issued for City of Kimberley

Three hours after an evacuation order was issued for the St. Mary Valley, an evacuation alert was issued for the nearby community of Kimberley.

Trump rages on Mueller following Times report

Trump takes to Twitter calling Robert Mueller “disgraced and discredited”

BC Wildfire crew rescues lost puppies

They were just leaving the Monashee Complex of fires when they found the cutest creatures.

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

Most Read