Distracted driving surpasses drunk driving as a cause of accidents in Quebec

While speeding remains the main cause of accidents and deaths on Quebec roads, drunk driving has now taken a backseat to distracted driving.

A total of 15 lost their lives in traffic accidents over Quebec's two-week construction holiday period which ended on Sunday, and while there aren't officials stats yet, SQ spokesperson Joyce Kemp says they know what's contributing to these incidents. 

"Unfortunately, we know that over the construction holiday, many of our collisions had to do with distracted driving," Kemp says.

She adds taking your eyes off the road to look at your electronic device — even for a few seconds — can be like crossing the length of a football field with your eyes closed. 

"When you're composing a text message, it can increase the risk of being involved in a car collision by about 23 times," Kemp says.

The SQ handed out around 16,000 tickets while they were patrolling the roads over the construction holiday — the majority of them were for speeding.

Kemp points out the penalties for so much as having a cell phone in your hand while driving have risen — to $300 and a loss of five demerit points.