Road Trips: Canadians Lost without GPS

The Pulse of the Driving Nation - Globe Drive Reveals Insights from Behind the Wheel

TORONTO, June 23 /CNW/ - Heading into the summer months, many Canadians pack up their cars and hit the road for road trips, family vacations and weekend getaways. Snacks and games for the car are all part of the must-have items. But what is the number one item Canadians cannot live without? The answer is: their GPS! According to a new poll by Globe Drive conducted by Harris/Decima, navigation systems (38%) followed by driving tunes (22%) are a necessity when the rubber hits the road.

Online at, columnist Peter Cheney reveals just how far Canadians are willing to go this summer in the name of a road trip. Reflecting on his real life examples of direction disasters, Cheney recounts his own road trips in preparation for the unofficial road trip weekend kick-off - Canada Day.

"Globe Drive gets behind what's really important to Canadian drivers," said Simon Beck, custom content manager for The Globe and Mail. "Road trips are tradition when it comes to Canadian summers, and whether behind the wheel, or going along for the ride, Canadians look forward to packing up the car and driving down the open road."

I can't drive without it:
When gearing up for road trips, Canadian drivers reveal different must-haves in the car. According to the survey, almost four in 10 Canadians (38%) cannot drive without their GPS. In fact, Ontarians are most concerned about losing their way, with nearly half (45%) admitting they won't start the car without this device. Less than one-third (31%) of drivers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta worry about navigation. For drivers in Quebec, music is the number one priority when planning a road trip. More than one-third (35%) reveal driving tunes are the must-have in the car, versus a navigation system (31%). The same is true among 18-24 year old drivers - almost half (44%) rank driving tunes as the one item they cannot drive without.

Are we there yet?:
Drivers were also asked about the longest distance they would travel when heading out on a driving vacation this summer. One-quarter of Canadians (25%) said they would make the trek from coast to coast. Another one-third (32%) said they would drive at least one province away (32%). Almost three times as many drivers from British Columbia (31%) are willing to travel coast to coast vs. those from the Atlantic Provinces (12%).

The cost of driving:
Canadians seem to have adjusted to the higher prices of gas at the pump. When asked what impact the cost of fuel would have on their plans, half of drivers (49%) said there would be no impact and they would not change their driving plans. Twice as many Atlantic Canadians (30%) said they would choose a destination closer to home, versus British Columbians (15%). Finally, women appear to keep a closer tab on expenses, with more men (54%) than women (45%) admitting the cost of fuel would not force them to change the driving route this summer.

These results and more from The Globe and Mail's Pulse of the Driving Nation can be found online at or in paper in tomorrow's Globe Drive. features an expanded line-up of editorial and lifestyle content and explores topics, including: our relationships with our cars, family driving, car audio and electronics, green options, car tips, road trips and what the cars we drive say about us, to name just a few.

The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper, is a division of CTVglobemedia, a dynamic multimedia company, which also owns CTV Inc., Canada's number-one private broadcaster.

About the survey
The data was gathered between March 31st through April 5th, 2010 through Harris/Decima's weekly teleVox, the company's national omnibus survey. A representative sample of 1,002 Canadians were surveyed, of which 889 ever drive. The corresponding margin of error this subgroup is
±3.3%, 19 times out of 20.

SOURCE Globe and Mail

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