One out of three Canadians experience road rage every month

State Farm Canada survey reveals 46 per cent feel roads would not be safer if speed limits reduced

AURORA, ON, July 14, 2015 /CNW/ - Traffic is shaping up as one of the big stories of the summer of 2015. Whether it is the extra time it seems to take to get to the cottage or camping, navigating around construction, or the frustrations people feel trying to get around Toronto during the Pam Am Games, traffic is a leading topic at the watercooler. And national statistics show our patience is wearing thin.

According to the latest findings of a national State Farm Canada survey, 33 per cent of Canadians say they are victims of road rage at least once a month. The most common road rage triggers include, tailgating (30 per cent), others driving distracted (22 per cent), and being cut off (22 per cent).

"Increased suburban development and a lack of updated transportation infrastructure have led to increased congestion on Canadian roads," says John Bordignon, Media Relations, State Farm. "More traffic can lead to frustration for drivers, add things like weather, construction and the behaviours of others and one can understand how emotions can quickly escalate into road rage. Being in a disgruntled state of mind can drastically increase the possibility of accidents and decrease safety for yourself and those travelling with and around you."

It's not all Bad

Canadians are known globally as a polite and courteous people. Respondents of the survey echo this as nearly half (46 per cent) say they would keep calm and let it slide when faced with the dangerous driving of others. A further 20 per cent would simply honk their horn to alert others of their indiscretion or to vent their frustration. 

We also notice the good driving habits of those we share the road with. When asked what good driving habits Canadians notice the most in other drivers, 35 per cent cited being courteous to others followed by using turn signals properly (23 per cent). Nearly two thirds admit to using their horns in situations where other drivers need to be alerted to a danger.

The Need for Speed

Summer seems to invite a desire to drive faster with 61 per cent of respondents admitting they catch themselves speeding in the warmer months. The survey found that only 14 per cent of Canadians notice other drivers obeying the speed limit, however almost half (46 per cent) believe that decreasing speed limits would not lead to safer roads.

According to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, 800 Canadians die and another 3,000 are injured every year in collisions where speed was the major contributing factor. The Traffic Injury Research Foundation estimates that 20 per cent of collisions occur as a result of speeding, speed increases the risk of being involved in a collision (a 1 per cent increases in speed translates to a 4 per cent greater probability of getting into a crash), and contributes directly to crash severity.

Drivers have their own idea of what they consider excessive speed on city streets and highways, regardless of the legal limit:

City streets

Km/h over posted speed limit               

Percentage that feels it is excessive

5 km/h

11 per cent

10 km/h

35 per cent

15 km/h

27 per cent

Highways

Km/h over posted speed limit               

Percentage that feels it is excessive

10 km/h

14 per cent

20 km/h

37 per cent

30 km/h

28 per cent

Impaired Driving

Canadian views and actions related to impaired driving have changed somewhat over the years, although drinking and driving continues to be the main concern. The majority (54 per cent) of respondents felt that alcohol is the most common form of impaired driving. This was followed by fatigue (31 per cent).

Despite recent data showing more drivers are being caught under the influence of prescription and recreational drugs this currently only takes up a small place in the minds of Canadians when considering impaired driving. Just 14 per cent feel that prescription and recreational drugs are the most common cause of impairment behind the wheel. In fact, the number of people driving while impaired by drugs other than alcohol has increased. In Ontario it is up 32% cent over 2014*. Nationally, between 2000 and 2010, drug–related fatalities among 16-19 year old drivers increased by 23.2%**. Alcohol related fatalities decreased slightly.  

Additional Resources

This is the second of three news releases (spring, summer, fall) State Farm Canada will be distributing in 2015 revealing our survey results and the opinions of Canadians about their driving habits and road safety.

Spring 2015 - A majority of Canadians say distracted driving is a problem; it's just not their problem - https://www.statefarm.ca/about-us/newsroom/2015/04/14/distracted-driving

To find out more about how State Farm works to improve road safety in Canada, please visit statefarm.ca.

About the Survey

The online survey, conducted in February, 2015, polled 1,300 respondents of driving age across Canada.

About the State Farm brand in Canada

In January 2015, State Farm Canada operations were purchased by the Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and among the three largest P&C insurance providers in Canada. With its 500 dedicated agents and 1700 employees, the State Farm division provides insurance and financial services products including mutual funds, life insurance, vehicle loans, critical illness, disability, home and auto insurance to customers in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. For more information, visit www.statefarm.ca, join us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/statefarmcanada - or follow us on Twitter – www.twitter.com/StateFarmCanada.

® State Farm and related trademarks and logos are registered trademarks owned by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, used under licence by Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company and certain of its affiliates.

_______________________________
*According to research conducted by the Ontario Provincial Police
**According to research conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF)

SOURCE State Farm

Image with caption: "A recent national State Farm Canada survey asked Canadians to rate their driving strengths and weaknesses. Full infographic in link below. (CNW Group/State Farm)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150714_C4860_PHOTO_EN_444917.jpg

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2015/07/14/20150714_C4860_PDF_EN_444662.pdf

For further information: Ginger Shewell, Media Profile, ginger.shewell@mediaprofile.com / 416-342-1802; John Bordignon - Media Relations, State Farm Canada, 905.750.5567 / 416.801.6078, www.twitter.com/SF_JohnB, www.statefarm.ca


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