Do the winter holidays bring out the naughty or the nice in Canadian drivers?

New State Farm® survey reveals concerns about aggressive driving around the winter holidays

AURORA, ON, Dec. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - While it may be the season to be jolly, Canadians report seeing drivers demonstrate more naughty than nice behaviour during the winter holiday season, this according to a recent State Farm and KRC Research online survey.

More than half (54 per cent) of Canadians surveyed witnessed aggressive driving during the winter holidays, with 32 per cent of this group seeing aggressive driving most often during Christmas. Comparatively, only 44 per cent of Canadians reported seeing aggressive driving during summer holidays.

Regardless of the reasons, Canadians recognize that aggressive driving during the holidays is reality for themselves as well. The survey revealed over half (55 per cent) of drivers admit they have adverse emotions while behind the wheel during the winter holidays. As well, three in 10 Canadian drivers say they are more likely to engage in aggressive driving during the holiday season.

"These new findings reinforce how important it is to keep safety top of mind when driving every day, but especially during increased travel times like the winter holidays," says Chris Mullen, Director of Technology Research at State Farm. "Both negative and positive emotions can affect the way drivers behave and it's vital to focus on the road and practice safe driving behaviours."

Survey Key Findings

  • Thirty two percent of younger drivers (ages 18-29), 28 per cent of middle aged drivers (ages 30-49) and parents (30 per cent) were significantly more likely to report being provoked or engage in aggressive driving around the major winter holidays compared to only 9 per cent of older drivers (ages 50 and older) and non-parents (15 per cent). Over half (56 per cent) of Canadian drivers say adverse emotions have negatively impacted their driving in recent months, with the leading cause to drivers being stress (26 per cent) and being hurried (26 per cent)
  • Over three in five (61 per cent) Canadian drivers indicate they have experienced some form of aggressive driving six times or more in recent months
  • Fifty-four per cent of Canadian drivers say men are nearly seven times more likely to engage in aggressive driving when compared to women (eight per cent)
  • Canadians are most likely to get agitated at situations that make them late or change plans. The top situations likely to make drivers agitated are traffic jams (61 per cent), when they are running late (56 per cent), road closures or construction (52 per cent) and a busy parking lot (35 per cent)

What is Considered Naughty Driving?
Naughty - or aggressive - driving can include speeding, running red lights, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic and failing to yield right of way, among other behaviours, according to Transport Canada.

How to be Nice on the Road
Whether drivers are guilty of aggressive driving or have been on the receiving end of it, State Farm encourages drivers to be nicer during the holiday season by taking control when they can:

  • Control your behaviour on the road. Research has shown excessive speed increases the risk of collisions, injury and death, and 29 per cent of crashes at signalized intersections were caused by a driver violating a red light (Traffic Injury Research Foundation).

  • Control your emotions. Recognize it's not personal and it's not a race. It's important to get out of the way of an aggressive driver but also to give drivers the benefit of the doubt.

  • Understand driving conditions before setting out. Plan extra time to get to your destination to account for weather conditions, heavy traffic or parking lot congestion. If available, use public transportation when expecting inclement weather or heavy traffic times.

Additional Materials
For additional information and tips to avoid aggressive driving, visit

For additional information and tips to keep you and your family safe on the road this holiday season, visit

For a report showing key statistics, please visit:

For tips on how to help counter aggressive driving, please visit:

For an infographic of key results, please visit: Flickr

For related images, please visit: Flickr

About the Study
The study was an online survey designed and conducted by KRC Research on behalf of State Farm from October 25 to November 3, 2013.  In all, 1,050 drivers among a demographically representative Canada sample of adults 18 years of age and older were surveyed.  All respondents were required to have a valid Canadian driver's licence to participate in the survey.  This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About State Farm®
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit or in Canada

About KRC Research
KRC Research is a full-service research firm that specializes in the kind of research needed for effective communications—communications that reach, engage and persuade. A unit of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), KRC Research offers the quality and custom service of a small firm along with the reach of a global organization. For over 30 years, KRC Research has worked on behalf of corporations, governments, not-for-profits and the communications firms that represent them. Staffed with market research professionals from the worlds of political campaigns, consumer marketing, journalism and academia, we are flexible, practical, creative, knowledgeable and fast, combining sophisticated research tools with real-world communications experience. For more information, visit


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SOURCE: State Farm

For further information:

John Bordignon
State Farm

Melissa Adamson

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State Farm

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