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4 D’s of Driving

4 D’s of Driving

When operating a motorized vehicle, it’s important that your attention remain on the road. At Trubicars, we emphasize to our students the importance of driving safely and the responsibility you have while being behind the wheel. Accidents can happen at the blink of an eye if you are inattentive. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. At Trubicars we have identified the 4 D’s of impaired driving and how you can avoid them. Impaired driving means operating a vehicle while your ability to do so has been compromised. This can be from consuming alcohol, drugs (either cannabis, over-the-counter drugs, prescription medication or illegal substances) or a combination of the above. The 4 D’s of impaired driving include: Drunk Driving, Drugged Driving, Distracted Driving and Drowsy Driving. 

1 Drunk Driving

Driving impaired is a serious offence on ALL roads. As a driver, you have a responsibility to remain sober behind the wheel. In Ontario, driving while you are drunk is one of the leading causes of fatal collisions amongst road users. When you drink, your reaction time is slower and your ability to make decisions is greatly affected. Alcohol can affect you attention span and you may experience blurred or double vision. If police detect and test that you are driving while impaired you can face immediate license suspensions, Fines and reinstatement fees, enrollment into education or treatment programs, vehicle impoundment or even harsher penalties upon conviction.
On your First Time being charged with impaired driving, there is an immediate roadside 90-day suspension, 7-day vehicle impoundment and a $550 penalty.
On your Second Time being charged with impaired driving, there is an immediate roadside 90-day suspension, 7-day vehicle impoundment, education and treatment program enrolment and a $550 penalty.
On your Third Time being charged with impaired driving, there is an immediate roadside 90-day suspension, 7-day vehicle impoundment education and treatment program enrolment, Ignition Interlock condition for 6 months and a $550 penalty. An Ignition interlock system is a in-car alcohol breath screening device that prevents your vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol in your system. 

Every time your license is suspended you must pay a license reinstatement fee. 

You can avoid driving drunk by:

  • Assigning a designated driver 
  • Using public transport 
  • Calling a trusted friend or family member for a ride 
  • Using a ride share or taxi service or
  • Staying overnight at your location. 

2 Drugged Driving

Driving while impaired by cannabis is another offence that is just as serious as drunk driving. Many people try to argue that they are a safer driver after they have consumed cannabis…this is not the case. Consuming cannabis before driving affects your judgement, coordination and slows your reaction time. Cannabis effects depend on THC levels, how it is consumed and whether or not can last as long as 6 hours an The same penalties apply that to intoxicated driving also apply to cannabis impairment. If you continually violate the driving while intoxicated laws you will face longer suspensions and additional consequences (like mandatory enrolments in education and treatment programs).

3 Did you know?

It is Illegal to transport cannabis in a motorized vehicle if it is open (not in its original packaging) and readily accessible to any person in the vehicle. It is also Illegal to transport cannabis across the Canadian border.

You can avoid driving high by taking the same steps you would as if you were drinking:

  • Assigning a designated driver
  • Using public transport
  • Calling a trusted friend or family member for a ride 
  • Using a ride share or taxi service or
  • Staying overnight at your location

4 Distracted Driving

When people think of distracted driving, people mostly think of electronic device usage. While this is often a leading cause of distracted driving, distracted driving also includes Visual, Physical and Cognitive distractions.  

  • Visual- includes anything that takes your eyes off the road.
  • Physical- includes anything that takes your hands off the steering wheel.
  • Cognitive- includes being lost in your thoughts or engaging in deep conversations.

You are considered to be a distracted driver if you do any of the following behind the wheel: 

  • Eat or Drink
  • Text
  • Scroll or search on your phone
  • Apply Makeup
  • Fiddle with radio or navigation systems
  • Drive with a pet on your lap
  • Reach for a fallen object

Distracted driving is a serious offence and has serious consequences, not only could you potentially injure yourself but you can also injure others, such as other road users, pedestrians and even cause damages to nearby surroundings.

  • On your First Conviction you could face a fine of $615 (if settled out of court), A fine of $1000 (if settled in court), three demerit points and a 3-day license suspension. 
  • On your Second Conviction you could face a fine of $615 (if settled out of court), A fine of $2000 (if settled in court), six demerit points and a 7-day license suspension. 
  • On your Third or more Conviction you could face a fine of $615 (if settled out of court), A fine of $3000 (if settled in court), six demerit points and a 30-day license suspension. 

There are many steps you can take to avoid distracted driving, try any of the following:

  • Turn off your phone or switch it to silent: This ensures that your phone will not be a distraction. 
  • Ask a passenger to respond on your behalf 
  • Before you leave: Pre-select your radio stations or queue up your favorite tunes prior to leaving your destination.
  • Pull over: Safely pull over safely to the side and deal with the issue accordingly, be sure that whatever caused you to pull over will not require you to become distracted again

5 Drowsy Driving

Driving while fatigued can significantly diminish your ability to focus on the road. Ontario studies have shown that collisions involving drowsy drivers tend to occur during late nights and early mornings. So whether you are driving long distances or working late and long hours, you should never get behind the wheel while you are fatigued. Your reaction time is slower, your decision-making abilities are altered, your level of focus is more difficult to maintain, your depth perception is thrown off and your vision can be altered (you may become sensitive to bright lights.

Your drowsiness is serious enough to be a risk if:

  • You have difficulty keeping your eyes open and are frequently yawning
  • You can’t remember details about the road you have just been driving on
  • You are missing traffic lights and traffic signals
  • You have to keep correcting from drifting your vehicle into other lanes
  • You have briefly drifted off and have only just avoided a collision

You can avoid driving drowsy by: 

 Letting someone else who is able to, drive: If you have a passenger who has a valid license and is feeling alert, let them drive (even for short trips!)  

Taking a rest: If you are driving long distances, there are many safe stops on highways that have resting areas such an ONroutes 

Eat Well: Caffeine and sugar may give you a brief spout of energy but these spouts of energy will not last long. Ensure that you have consumed a nutritious source of food and are appropriately hydrated for more sustained energy (be sure not to snack or drink behind the wheel though!)  

It’s important to note as well that you cannot trick your body into staying awake!

At Trubicars, we believe and emphasize the importance of how it is your duty as an operator of a motorized vehicle to ensure that you remain safe and responsible behind the wheel, not just for your sake, but for the sake of others. To learn more about the 4 D’s of impaired driving, or to learn other safe driving techniques, check out the Trubicars website!: https://www.trubicars.ca/