More People Now Dying from Distracted Driving Than Drunk Driving in BC, Stats Show

More people are dying from distracted driving than drinking and driving in BC.

In fact, the tipping point was reached in the province in 2012, according to newly released statistics. In BC that year, there were 81 deaths from distracted driving—which includes using a smartphone while operating the vehicle—compared to 55 related to impaired driving.

In 2013, a staggering 51,000 distracted driving tickets were handed out in BC.

“People seem to know that they must not drink and drive, but distracted driving, people don’t seem to have the same level of awareness,” Attorney General Suzanne Anton is quoted as saying. Anton is considering stiffer penalties for using smartphones while driving.

B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act currently sets a $167 fine for talking on a cellphone. Similarly it sets a $167 fine plus three demerit points for emailing or texting while driving. 

Ontario recently hiked its fines for texting and driving. That province has also reached the tipping point: according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, drivers talking or texting on their smartphones are now causing more deaths than drunk drivers in Ontario.