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

Langley Mounties get new tool to find drunk drivers

New legislation take effect this week that will allow broader breathalyzer testing.

BCIHL Young Stars lose hard-fought hockey game to Kazakhstan at Langley Events Centre

Coach calls it ‘a great opportunity for those guys to have an international experience’

How some Langley students used spare change, bake sales and candy-cane-grams to help the needy

This week, three families will have a better Christmas as a result

Road to the World Juniors leads through Langley

Finland plays Denmark on Wednesday, United States takes on Czech Republic on Saturday

How the Grinch stole a Langley senior’s Christmas

Mary Kydd said her car was broken into at her apartment’s underground parking garage last week.

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Trump signs order to create US Space Command

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to create a U.S. Space Command.

Groups preparing new pipeline legal challenge, argue government’s mind made up

A Vancouver-based environment charity is readying itself to go back to court if the federal government reapproves the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notorious Toronto triple killer gets third consecutive life sentence

Dellen Millard gets third consecutive life sentence for father’s death.

‘Subdued’ housing market predicted in B.C. through 2021: report

The Central 1 Credit Union report predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Price of Alberta oil plummeted so low that Alberta’s Premier said Canada was practically giving it away

Wicked weather, including heavy snow, rainfall, hammers southern B.C.

Environment Canada has posted winter storm warnings for the Coquihalla Highway, Highway 3

Caretaker jailed, must pay back money after stealing $260K from elderly B.C. couple

Antonette Dizon, now 50, had been hired to provide extra care for Henry and Helen Abfalter

Most Read