#beunselfie and steer clear of distractions while driving

This National Teen Driver Safety Week, we’re encouraging teens and all Canadians to #beunselfie and avoid distractions while behind the wheel for safety’s sake!

Did you know driver distraction is a factor in 15-19 per cent of fatal collisions involving teens? I am sure you’ll agree that these stats are scary.

And if being a new, young driver isn’t enough, teens and their smartphones are attached at the hip. In fact, a recent TELUS WISE survey found that 71 per cent of Canadian parents purchased their child’s first mobile device before the age of 14 – before they even learn how to drive. We know that mobile technology isn’t going anywhere, but it’s important to ensure teens understand that driving requires their full, undivided attention.

This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week (#NTDSW) according to Parachute Canada. In recognition, and to help keep our teens safer on the roads, we are inviting them to #beunselfie by steering clear of smartphone distractions while behind the wheel. Being “unselfie” means being unselfish and making the smart, safe decision to put yourself, your passengers and others on the road first by putting your device, and all the distractions that come along with it, away while driving. We want you to drive alert and arrive at your destination safely and do your part to ensure everyone else on the road arrives safely too.

At TELUS, we are passionate about putting our customers first, and this commitment goes far beyond customer service. We have a responsibility to make sure you are educated about how to wisely use your devices. Since we provide the networks that power our mobile devices, we need to tackle the issue of distracted driving head-on and empower all Canadians to make smart and safe decisions when driving with their smartphones in tow.

TELUS and Young Drivers of Canada have teamed up this National Teen Driver Safety Week to raise awareness of the issue and provide teens and their parents with useful tips to help them avoid smartphone distractions while driving and impart positive behaviours to stop distracted driving for good.

  • Out of sight, out of mind: Keep your phone out of your line of sight; keep it in your purse, in the glove box, or in the back seat to remove the temptation to check it.
  • Put it on silent: Make sure your phone is on silent with vibrate turned off so you don’t get distracted by incoming notifications. Better yet, switch it off entirely! Your messages will all be there when you’ve safely reached your destination.
  • Pull over: If you absolutely must check your phone or take a call, pull over to a safe location like a parking lot or a side street.
  • Use the buddy system: If you’re travelling with passengers, have them hold your phone for you.
  • Parents, teach your kids: When parents learned to drive, smartphones didn’t exist. As parents, we need to get with the times, lead by example and start teaching our teens that there’s never a good time to use a smartphone while driving.
  • Let your friends and family know you’re driving: Notify your friends and family before you get in the driver’s seat that you’ll be driving and unable to answer their calls or texts.

Join the #beunselfie conversation in social media to help raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and more importantly, to share tips that will keep all of us safer on the roads by using the hashtag #beunselfie.

So next time you get behind the wheel, don’t be an instagoner, #beunselfie! All your messages will still be there when you arrive safe and sound at your destination and the best part, your passengers and everyone else on the road will thank you for doing the right thing.