Your Car and Cell Phone - Keeping safe

(NC) — As Canadians rely more and more on cell phones to stay connected, government agencies are addressing the use of cellular devices on the road. With bans already in place in most provinces, the rest of Canada will not be far behind.

A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that talking on a cell phone while driving increased the risk of motor vehicle crashes by four times. While the study easily underlines the importance of driving safely, the bans could also help drivers save money.

The cost of the insurance premium with an at-fault crash on your record could be thousands per year, depending on your previous driving record and the accident details. Add to this that fines for using your phone while driving are well over $100, and the case for not chatting while driving is clear.

“The ban on the cell phones not only results in safer drivers, but it helps to make insurance more affordable,” says Mauro Convertini, an insurance and claims expert for Aviva Canada. “Drivers can transition into the new laws by taking some simple precautions.”

Convertini recommends:

-- Switch off: Turn off your phone before you get in the car, reducing temptation to answer a ring or message. Remember, callers will leave a message or call back if it is important.

-- Extra set of hands: Enlist the help of a passenger to take or make a call for you. Or, if you are expecting an important call, let someone else drive.

-- Pull over: If you have to make or receive a call, look for a safe opportunity to pull over and park. A highway shoulder is not a safe place.

More information on safe driving and tips to lower your insurance rates are available from your insurance broker or online at


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