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Distracting driving causing more crashes than speed, impairment: OPP

A motorist texting and driving. AP PHOTO/Jim Cole

Ontario provincial police say inattentive driving is linked to more collisions on OPP-patrolled roads this year than speeding and alcohol or drug-related crashes combined.

So far this year, 47 people have died because of an inattentive driver, up from 39 such deaths this time last year.

“Drivers who text, talk on their cell phone or are distracted in some other way, take a tremendous toll on the safety of those who share the road with them,” OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes said in a release.

Since Jan. 1, distraction has been reported as the primary cause in 6,360 collisions.

Speed was the primary cause in 4,700 crashes while 1,158 involved a driver who had consumed alcohol or drugs.

Police say with the exception of 2012, distracted drivers have claimed more lives than speeding and alcohol-impaired drivers since Ontario’s distracted driving laws took effect in 2009.

The OPP will be conducting a distracted driving blitz over the Labour Day long weekend.

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