Summertime is peak accident season, which is why race car driver Patrick Carpentier teamed up with BASF and CARSTAR and hit the road to deliver a series of workshops to help raise awareness and improve road safety.
Unfortunately, Carpentier, who is currently teaching his teenage daughter to drive, has taken a back seat during this province-wide initiative, distracted driving is the main headliner, as it has steadily climbed into second place behind speeding, a spot formerly held by drunk-driving, on the overall list of causes of fatal collisions.
“Young people automatically reach for their cell phone, it’s become both instinctive and out of control,” he points out. “Vehicle dashboards have also morphed into computer displays, these days, distractions are everywhere.”
Collision Repair Shops Know
According to SAAQ statistics, between 2012 and 2016, 32.9 percent of fatal collisions and 41.7 percent of collisions resulting in serious injuries, were attributed to distracted drivers.
As CARSTAR regional director and event host, Yves Robichaud, pointed out, collision repair service providers know a thing or two about the damages caused by this terrible habit. This also explains why CARSTAR solicited the help of Patrick Carpentier to deliver this important message, starting with his home province.
“At CARSTAR, we witness the consequences of distracted driving on a daily basis through the vehicles we repair,” pointed-out Yves Robichaud. “We are committed to helping increase road safety whenever possible by raising awareness and helping reduce the risks.”
Speed Number One
As the statistics pointed out, speed remains the number one cause of Quebec road fatalities, which, for 2017, counted for one out of every three fatal collisions.
“If, like me, you have a real need for speed and you want to test your skills, your best and only option consists of a race track,” insists Patrick Carpentier. These venues are much more accessible and affordable these days, and they offer a safe, secure environment. Never risk your life, and the lives of other road users, when it can be so easily avoided.”
As for the family man, Patrick Carpentier believes that automotive-industry stakeholders should continue to develop driving aid technologies to protect drivers from themselves. “Why can’t they implement technology to prevent the transmission of smartphone data when the vehicle is moving, suggests Patrick Carpentier. This would make it impossible to text or use Instagram, Facebook, etc.
“We’re witnessing more and more cases where drivers are swerving down the highway, I actually experienced this on my way here,” emphatically explained the former race car driver, who participated in one of the two days of training scheduled for this event.
“What’s the best way to improve road safety? Look where you’re going,” insists Patrick Carpentier. “Plan your trips, and once you’re underway, do just one thing: drive!”