TORONTO, Feb. 26, 2020 /CNW/ - A recent survey from Rates.ca indicates that 40 per cent of Canadians believe distracted driving is the number one threat of car-related deaths, surpassing impaired driving (33 per cent) as the leading factor. When asked if they have told a driver to stop texting or engaging in phone calls while behind the wheel, more than half (58 per cent) say they have on at least one occasion. Additionally, more than 50 per cent of younger Canadians (aged 18 to 34) say they have told a driver, on more than three occasions, to stop using a mobile device while driving.
"The fact that Canadians are now acknowledging distracted driving as the number one threat to fatalities on the road is significant," said Paul Kovacs, Road Safety Ambassador, Rates.ca. "Learning that passengers are now speaking out and taking action when observing distracted driving behaviour is an important new finding."
The survey also asked Canadians to rank the following distracted driving activities as the most likely contributors to a traffic collision:
Texting (58 per cent)
Placing a call hands free (19 per cent)
Eating (14 per cent)
Drinking a coffee or water (8 per cent)
Using GPS mapping (8 per cent)
"Any action that takes attention away from driving your vehicle creates unsafe conditions," said Kovacs. "Engaging in activities like texting, answering a phone call or drinking a coffee should only take place when the car is parked".
The survey also reveals
Sixty-seven per cent of drivers believe there should be stiffer penalties for younger novice drivers for first and second offences.
Ninety-five per cent of Canadians believe the dangers of distracted driving should be taught in school (47 per cent in primary and 48 per cent in high school).
How Can You Prevent Distracted Driving?
Rates.ca recommends drivers and passengers reduce the threat of distracted driving by:
Setting your mobile phone to "airplane mode" or putting it out of sight so you are not disturbed by it while driving. Traffic lights are not the time to check messages – you are still operating the vehicle, so put the phone away.
Making a plan in advance to stop safely on your route to check and respond to email, text or phone calls. And, stick to the plan.
As a passenger, making sure the driver makes no attempt to use his/her mobile device. It is quite acceptable and correct to ask them to stop distracted driving behaviour immediately and concentrate on driving. Suggest that you are not in any hurry and ask them to pull over and then use their device.
Setting your vehicle's radio or dashboard infotainment system before you shift into drive.
Snacking or enjoying a cup of coffee in advance of your drive. Or do this while parked only.
The consequences of distracted driving can be significant. From the threat of injury to a driver, and others on the road to the penalties and fines associated with convictions and the negative impact to driving records and insurance rates.
Rates.ca is Canada's one-stop-shop for the best rates on insurance and money products. Rates.ca publishes rates from 30+ insurance providers so that shoppers can find the best rates for themselves. Use the site to find the best rates for auto, home and travel insurance, mortgages, and credit cards. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Rates.ca is located at 360 Adelaide Street West, Suite 100, Toronto, ON, M5V 1R7
About the survey
The Second Annual Distracted Driving survey was conducted by Forum Research between February 3rd to February 8th, 2020 and polled 1173 respondents across Canada. The sample's age ranged from 18 to 72+ years old. To participate in the survey, respondents were required to be over 18 years old and have a driver's licence. Survey questions were presented via telephone and respondents provided answers through the touchpad of their mobile device or home phone.
For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Masha Mikey, Proof Inc. for Rates.ca, [email protected], (416) 969-2664; Cameron Penner, Proof Inc. for Rates.ca, [email protected], (416) 969-2705