During National Road Safety Week, May 16 – 22, the Canada Safety Council and State Farm Canada is encouraging road users to be on the lookout for distracted drivers.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of distracted driving awareness,” said Jack Smith, President of the Canada Safety Council. “This is a serious problem on Canadian roads. We live in a society where people believe it’s important to be in contact at all times, whether it’s with work, family or friends. But the world won’t stop spinning if you let a phone call go to voicemail or take a little longer than usual to answer a text message or an email. Keep your attention squarely where it belongs: on the road.”

According to the Canadian Automobile Association, distraction is a factor in approximately 4 million motor vehicle crashes across North America every year.

In Canada, estimates from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation suggest approximately 25 per cent of collisions in 2013 were related to driver distraction.

Using a mobile device behind the wheel is illegal across most of Canada. Aside from Nunavut, where there are no distracted driving laws on the books as of the date of publication, every other province and territory has legislation that includes loss of demerit points and a fine for distracted drivers who are apprehended.

With the problem of distracted driving being so rampant and omnipresent, the Canada Safety Council says there simply aren’t enough resources available or hours in the day to catch every distracted driver – and that’s where all road users come in.

For this year’s campaign, the Canada Safety Council’s goal is to raise awareness about exactly how widespread the issue is. Whether you have a story to share, a comment about the issue or an experience related to distracted driving, you are encouraged to get in touch. When it’s safe to do so and you’re not behind the wheel yourself, road users are encouraged to send a message on Twitter @CanadaSafetyCSC with the hashtag #CanYouSeeThem.