Pull your head out of your apps! Focus on the road

Here’s a ‘notification’: distracted and drowsy driving is the March Traffic Spotlight

Regina, SK (Jan. 25, 2021) – When you hear that ping or feel your pocket vibrate, the urge to check your phone can be tough to ignore. But when you’re driving, is that message from your new match on Tinder – or seeing how many reactions there are to your Instagram story – worth a massive fine or crashing your ride?

The answer is always no. Get your head out of your apps and keep your eyes on the road.

Distracted driving is the focus of March’s Traffic Safety Spotlight, with an additional focus on drowsy driving. Police across the province will be on the lookout for drivers who aren’t giving the road their full and undistracted attention.

Distracted drivers face stiff penalties. Your first ticket will cost you $580 and four demerit points. The penalties escalate for repeat offences, with huge fines, more demerits, and weeklong vehicle impoundments.

But the real concern is the potential to hurt yourself or other people on the road.

“Ignore the temptation to look at your phone when you’re driving,” said Penny McCune, Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund. “When you’ve arrived at your destination, you can doomscroll, go down a TikTok rabbit hole, or binge-watch Bridgerton to your heart’s content. But when you’re behind the wheel, driving is all you should be doing.”

Fatigue is another factor that can keep a driver from giving the act of driving the attention it deserves. If you are drowsy driving and can’t stay awake, recognize the signs and get off the road. When tired, drivers have a slower reaction time, decreased awareness and impaired judgement.

So, here are some helpful reminders for drivers:

  • Take distractions out of the equation:
    • Turn off your notifications, power down your phone, or put your cellphone in a place where you won’t be tempted by it, just like this.
  • Plan ahead:
    • Passengers and pets should have everything they need before you hit the road.
    • Select your music and program your GPS in advance. Make sure you are well rested for your journey.
  • Get ready before:
    • Driving is not an appropriate time to touch up your makeup or check your hair.
    • Be rested and ready to go before you leave the driveway.
  • Stop and rest:
    • If you’re tired, pull over. If you cannot focus on the road, it’s best to take some time to rest before you carry on.

A quick glance at your phone may feel harmless, but here’s the story that really needs your attention: driver distraction and inattention causes thousands of collisions on Saskatchewan roads each year. People get hurt and some are killed in those collisions. If you keep your head out of your apps, and never drive drowsy, you can stop one of those crashes from involving you.

For more tips on avoiding driver distraction and fatigue, click here.


SGI CANADA is the property and casualty insurance division of SGI, offering products in five Canadian provinces. It operates as SGI CANADA in Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, and also as Coachman Insurance Company in Ontario. Products are sold through a network of independent insurance brokers. For more information, visit www.sgicanada.ca.

Source: Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI)

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