(file photo)

A new survey conducted by ICBC has revealed almost half of drivers in BC are using their phones to talk or text while driving.

Of those surveyed, 43% of drivers admit to using their phone at least once out of every 10 trips, a statistic up from 33% in 2019.

Drivers continue to use their phones while driving, despite 73% of respondents believing it is likely they will be caught by police holding or handling their electronic device. 

According to ICBC, one in four fatal crashes in the province are caused by distracted driving, claiming the lives of 76 British Columbians each year. 

Using electronic devices while driving is one of the most common and riskiest forms of distracted driving, increasing your risk of crashing by five times. 

ICBC and police are launching a month-long campaign urging drivers to leave their phone alone while driving by ramping up distracted driving enforcement and engaging community volunteers to conduct Cell Watch deployments to remind drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

“To ensure that we’re keeping our roadways safe for everyone, education and enforcement activities begin today throughout B.C. as part of our fall distracted driving campaign,” said Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee.

“These police and community efforts are necessary as distracted driving continues to be one of the most dangerous driving behaviours impacting road safety in B.C.,” added Dubord. 

“One quick peek at your cell phone or electronic device distraction could be the difference between life and death. “