Most Canadians say using a cell phone while driving is wrong (majority do it anyway), finds RBC Insurance Survey



    MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 23 /CNW/ - An RBC Insurance/Ipsos Reid survey
suggests that while the nine-in-ten Canadians drivers (86 per cent) do not
approve of using a cell phone when driving, almost all drivers (95 per cent)
report having seen other people talking on cell phones while on the road.
Despite knowing the risks of using a cell phone while driving, many Canadians
succumb to temptation: 52 per cent of drivers who have cell phones admit to
using them while behind the wheel.
    Canadians are also critical about e-mail and texting while driving, with
an overwhelming number of drivers (97 per cent) saying it is wrong to do
either while driving. However, almost half (47 per cent) have seen people
checking e-mail or text messages while driving.
    "Mobile technologies have dramatically increased our ability to
multi-task at home and work and now unfortunately in our cars," said Francois
Boulanger, president and CEO, RBC General Insurance Company. "And it's
happening despite clear evidence that most motor vehicle accidents are caused
by driver error. Anything that takes away from one's focus on safe driving
should be avoided."
    As debates continue across the country over the issue of driver
distraction and cell phone use while driving, industry associations like the
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) have started national campaigns to alert
Canadians to the dangers of distracted driving.
    "Most Canadians acknowledge that driver distraction is a problem," said
Mary Lou O'Reilly, VP, Public Affairs and Marketing for IBC. "Most of us think
it's the other guy's problem. We need to change that attitude if we want our
roads to be safe."
    The survey also found 73 per cent of Canadians have witnessed other
drivers eating a meal while driving and 58 per cent of Canadians have
personally seen other drivers putting on make-up while driving. Of those
surveyed, 19 per cent acknowledged they continued driving even when extremely
tired.
    These are the findings of an RBC Insurance/Ipsos Reid survey conducted
between March 27 and April 10, 2008. The poll was based on a randomly selected
sample of 2,251 adult Canadians, who were interviewed by telephone. With a
sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within +/-2.19
percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the
entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be
larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population.
The data was statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and
age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according
to the census data.

    About RBC Insurance

    RBC Insurance provides a wide range of, life, health, travel, home, auto,
business and reinsurance products, as well as creditor insurance services to
more than five million North American customers. Its fast growing home and
auto insurance business offers Canadians a comprehensive range of personal
home and auto insurance products through direct sales channels, including over
the phone, the Internet, retail insurance branches, as well as through group
insurance plans. RBC Insurance also offers a premier claims service, available
24/7, to help clients when they need it most. For more information, please
visit www.rbcinsurance.com.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Kerry Gaetano, (905) 816-5583,
kerry.gaetano@rbc.com; Margie McNeil, (905) 606-1425, margie.mcneil@rbc.com


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