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Why texting and driving is dangerous and how to avoid It.

Friends driving in a car

November 18, 2019. We all know that texting and driving is a risky and dangerous behavior. However, many Canadians will admit to checking their phone at a red light or even texting while driving. At the same time, many drivers say texting is one of their biggest safety concerns while driving. So why do we do it? Is there a practical solution that will help us stop?

Texting is a common and extremely dangerous driving distraction

Distracted driving causes more collisions than impaired driving and caused 27% of fatal crashes in BC in 2016. Drivers who are texting are eight times more likely to be in an accident and 33% of Canadians say they have texted at a red light.

Why is it so tempting?

We lead busy, connected lives, feel pressure to respond to text messages right away, over-estimate our ability to multitask, and may even feel “addicted” to texting. Parallels have been drawn between the way casinos capitalize on human psychology and the way smartphones interact with their users.

Use Bluetooth Instead

It’s unrealistic to expect drivers to never use a phone in the car. The good news is, you may already have the solution and only need to invest a few minutes of your time. Bluetooth is an easy solution for newer model vehicles and most cell phones support it.

You will need:

  • A Bluetooth-capable audio system in your car
  • The PIN for your audio system
  • A cell phone with Bluetooth. Look for the Bluetooth symbol on your phone or in the menus. It looks a bit like a capital B and an X over top of each other.

Step by step instructions for enabling Bluetooth in your car:

  1. Start Bluetooth pairing on your car’s audio system. The location of this menu differs from car to car and may be in the hands-free calling system.
  2. Open your phone’s Wireless, Networks or Bluetooth menu (this will vary by device) and set Bluetooth to on.
  3. Open the Bluetooth Settings menu and find your car audio in the list of available devices.
  4. Type in your audio system’s PIN

This process is very similar for most vehicles and cell phones and shouldn’t be too complicated to figure out. Being safer on the road is well worth the time you put into figuring out your car’s Bluetooth setup.

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