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

RCMP looks for tips after break-in at School District 74 works yard

Thieves cut locks into the compound overnight on Dec. 12 and stolle two drills

TNRD recycling workshop answers a lot of questions

Residents learned about changes to recycling, a planned new Eco-depot in the area, and more

Winning Aboriginal Enterprises team from 1990 gets back together on the ice

Team members reconvened to play again, and make a touching presentation to Leslie Edmonds

2018 in review part one: Economic impact of 2017 wildfires more than $30 million in region

Plus success for a local model, a poster controversy, a new doctor, and much more.

Cache Creek mayor Santo Talarico stresses need for collaboration

‘If the area is a success, Cache Creek will be a success’

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Rescued B.C. cat with misshapen legs in need of forever home – with carpet

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

Most Read