Today marks the start of National Safe Driving Week in Canada and there’s something really important we need to talk about first. When it comes to being safe on the road, distracted driving is a growing concern – according to the Ontario Provincial Police, it now kills more people each year than drunk driving and speeding combined.
To dig into this a bit further, TELUS surveyed Canadians on their distracted driving habits. They discovered that one-third admitted to using a smartphone while driving within the last week! And, thanks to our cell phone addictions, two out of five can’t even make it through the average commute (25 minutes) without feeling twitchy and reaching for our device!
As a provider of smartphones and the network that powers them, at TELUS they feel they have a responsibility to encourage Canadians to make a change for the better, and I feel obliged to help them.
That’s why today they launched the “Thumbs Up. Phones Down.” campaign, which goes beyond awareness to create a change in behaviour through positive reinforcement. The concept is simple: if your thumbs are up, you can’t be using your phone. And if you’re being a responsible driver, you deserve a thumbs up. But to make it a success, we need your help!
So, how can you help?
- Step 1: Put away your phone when you get behind the wheel of your car and focus on the road. This part is non-negotiable!
- Step 2: Take a selfie (when you’re not behind the wheel of course!). Take to the Internet and share your best thumbs up selfie pic or even video with @TELUS using #ThumbsUpPhonesDown and encourage your followers to do the same to help spread awareness around distracted driving.
- Step 3: Read and share the safe driving tips found below.
- Step 4: See a driver with both hands on the wheel? Give them a thumbs up for resisting temptation and keeping their phones down and eyes on the road while driving!
Telus has also expanded their TELUS WISE program to include distracted driving resources. This includes their Smartphone Safety – Distracted Driving Guide, which was co-created with support from the Canadians Association of Chiefs of Police and Young Drivers of Canada, and features key facts and tips for drivers of all age groups. You can check out all things relating to distracted driving at telus.com/wise/distracted-driving.
Safe driving tips:
- Put it on silent. There’s nothing like the sound of messages, alerts and calls coming in to really make you antsy about checking your phone.
- Put your phone somewhere where you can’t see it. Try your bag, the glove compartment or the back seat.
- Always pull over. If you really can’t resist checking your phone until the end of your trip, find a spot to safely pull over and put your car in park first before checking your phone.
- Waiting on an important message or call? Ask your passenger to read it out loud or take the call for you so you can keep your eyes on the road.
- If you’re a passenger, speak up! Using a mobile device while driving isn’t only against the law, it could be a matter of life or death. Let the driver know you feel uncomfortable and encourage them to put the phone down and keep their eyes on the road.