The latest numbers from Ontario Provincial Police show distracted driving causes more crashes on the roads they patrol than speeding and impaired driving combined.
So far this year there have been 6,380 collisions in OPP jurisdiction that have been blamed on distracted driving.
That’s compared to 4,700 collisions due to speeding and 1,158 crashes caused by a driver drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
Police say 47 people have died this year because of an inattentive driver, which is up from 39 deaths by this time in 2016.
“Our collision data is compelling evidence that drivers who text, talk on their cell phone or are distracted in some other way, take a tremendous toll on the safety of those who share the road with them,” said OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes in a statement. “Until drivers, passengers and the general public take a firm stand against this road safety issue, these tragedies are expected to continue in large numbers on our roads.”
OPP said it will be conducting a distracted driving campaign over the Labour Day weekend
They’re also reminding drivers that students will be taking to the streets and being bused to school next week.
“This long weekend, it is important that we remind ourselves of the dangers of distracted driving. On the road, please remember to put down the phone and focus your full attention on safe driving,” said Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
With the exception of 2012, inattentive drivers have taken more lives on OPP-patrolled roads than speeding and alcohol-impaired drivers since Ontario distracted driving laws took effect in 2009.