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Don't drive DUMB

The Insurance Bureau of Canada paid a visit to the Education Centre this week to drive home the message that driving distractions can be deadly.



The Insurance Bureau of Canada paid a visit to the Education Centre this week to drive home the message that driving distractions can be deadly.

Officials came armed with an interactive simulator titled Distractions Undermining Motorist Behavior also know as the ‘DUMB’ car.

Nancy Martin, Manager of Consumer Relations for Insurance Bureau of Canada explained that the simulator has participants test their driving skills while being introduced to a host of distractions Canadians deal with on a daily basis..

“It’s considered an awareness campaign. We believe that we can change behaviours through education we’ve seen it in the past.” she explains.

Martin says the IBC wants people to take a second look at things like cell phones, food, coffee and even the radio and change their habits.

“Canadians have a strong social conscience, they will change when they know it’s the right thing.”

“And it’s always very powerful when you bring a prop such as the Dumb Car to show people first hand about driving distractions … how dangerous it is.”

NUSU Vice President External Kyra Knapp says she learned a great deal from trying out the simulator.

“I definitely learned that I’m not as good of a driver as I thought I was when I was being distracted by things.”

“And I definitely noticed that in my own life when I have been driving, the minute you go to put a CD in, you go to play your MP3 player, or answer your cell phone, you loose focus of the road. And that was definitely the case in this where you had to focus so intently on the technology that you didn’t even see the road.”

Knapp says the experience will definitely change her driving habits and remove some of her distractions.

“I guess I would have to make sure that I would travel with a passenger who would be in charge of that sort of thing, or make sure that I had what I was going to do before I set out and started driving .”

“I definitely think the iPod in the car was probably a bad idea, it takes to much effort to look at it and make sure that you’re deciding what song you want properly. And I think that if you’re going to listen to music in the car that you have a CD player built right in so that it’s easier to use.”

Martin says that because police do not keep statistics based on driver distraction the industry does not have a sound dollar figure on what it costs Canadians each year but says the number of crashes are alarming.

“They’ll know if an accident happened because of impaired for instance, but they don’t’ keep stats based on accidents that happen due to distractions.”

“We do know that almost 8 out 10 collisions are caused by driver distraction and that equals about 4 million crashes in North America.”



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