The final video installment in our Heads Up campaign reminds Edmontonians to avoid distractions so they can focus their full attention on getting to their destination safely.
There seems to be growing concern amongst the media, the public and policymakers about distracted driving. Oprah recently used her global influence to ask viewers to make their vehicles “no phone zones.” Closer to home, the Alberta government passed Bill 16, legislation which restricts cell phone use and other activities like texting, reading, writing and personal grooming while behind the wheel.
Research supports this concern by showing just how commonplace distracted driving has become. A recent Leger Marketing survey found 75% of Canadians do something other than focusing on the road while driving. It’s not surprising then, that many studies are linking one in four traffic collisions to distracted driving. This research begs the question: are pedestrians this distracted too?
The common-sense conclusion is that no matter how you get around, you should focus your full attention on the road. That’s why the Heads Up campaign asks both drivers and pedestrians to avoid distractions.
Walking and driving can be deceptively simple. Most of us do one or both of these tasks several times a day, so it’s very tempting to switch to autopilot and start multitasking. You might get lost in your own thoughts and realize that you have no idea how you got from A to B. Or you may take a few seconds to send a quick text. Maybe you’re even scrolling through this blog post at a red light…if you are, stop it right now!
The problem is that you never know when things are going to change. When it comes to traffic, it only takes a split second for a situation to transform from mundane to dangerous. What if you choose that moment to take your eyes and mind off the road? That decision could mean the difference between a near miss and a collision.
The next time you find yourself slipping into autopilot, remind yourself to pay attention and focus on the road.
Special thanks to Adrienne Hill from Guru Digital Arts College for creating this animation about distractions.
The Heads Up campaign wraps up at the end of November. The campaign aimed to remind Edmontonians, whether on foot or behind the wheel, about their role in pedestrian safety.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. It’s up to all of us to take responsibility for our own behaviour and never make assumptions about what others will do. There are simple things that you can do to prevent collisions, and the injuries and fatalities that happen as a result of those collisions. So keep your heads up and look out for each other.
Although the campaign is almost over, we hope its message sticks with you and helps you to stay safe on our streets year-round.
For more information on the campaign, visit Edmonton Heads Up Campaign.