Texting, eating, smoking and personal grooming while driving has added up to more than 160 people being killed while driving since 2005, says Manitoba Public Insurance.
MPI says today it is launching its first-ever awareness campaign on the issue because of the dangers of driving while distracted.
"Cellphones don’t cause crashes, distracted drivers do," MaryAnn Kempe, MPI’s vice-president of community and corporate relations, said in a statement.
"A texting driver, whose eyes are focused on their device, represents a clear danger on the road. Other distractions include eating, smoking and personal grooming while driving... the average time spent sending a text message is 4.6 seconds — at 90 km/hr you’ll travel the length of a CFL football field in that time."
MPI’s don’t drive and text campaign, called Your Last Words, will appear on television, radio, billboards and a dedicated website www.yourlastwords.ca
Drivers will receive a $200 ticket if caught using their cellphone, iPod or other handheld devices while driving.