Is Dangerous Driving on the Rise?
Nine out of 10 Ontarians have witnessed risky behaviour from other drivers in construction zones, according to a new Ontario Road Builders’ Association (ORBA) survey conducted by Leger.
But they’re not so quick to recognize their own faults behind the wheel.
Only two-thirds of Ontarians admit to driving dangerously themselves in a construction zone, including 30 per cent ‘fessing up to speeding, with eight per cent admitting to texting while driving
“This points to a clear disconnect,” said ORBA chief operating officer Geoff Wilkinson.
Dangerous behaviours range from speeding to failing to merge to texting while driving.
The ORBA launched a campaign last year “that showed people how risky dangerous driving can be in construction zones, because construction zones are in fact workplaces first,” Wilkinson said.
“In year two, it’s become clear that Ontarians now understand this concept.”
A discrepancy “between those who see bad behaviour and those that admit to doing it makes it obvious that people don’t realize they’re actually participating in these types of behaviour themselves,” he added.
The survey also revealed 80 per cent of Ontarians understand the serious risks associated with driving dangerously in a construction zone, including injury or death to a construction worker.
As the Canada Day long weekend approaches, the ORBA is reminding residents that highways and other roadways are full of construction zones.
The new survey singles out distracted driving, with 60 per cent of Ontarians saying they’ve seen drivers text and drive, 50 per cent admitting to seeing people eat and drive, and 25 per cent admitting to seeing people applying makeup while driving.
“We want all Ontarians to enjoy their summer, especially on the roads,” says Wilkinson. “But considering the number of incidents still occurring in our construction zones caused by dangerous drivers, it’s critical we take the time to not only point out what these behaviors are, but also remind drivers that they too participate in them, even if they don’t think they do.”
Other findings from the survey include:
- Younger Ontarians (age 18-44) are significantly more likely to have grabbed a drink or bite to eat, glanced at their smartphone to catch up on messages or notifications, made up for lost time by passing slower vehicles and reset their GPS, compared to Ontarians ages 45 and older.
- Two-thirds of drivers have seen other drivers exceed the posted speed limit, and six out of 10 have seen other drivers fail to allow others to merge (60 per cent) and text or operate a phone while driving (58 per cent).
- More than one-third (35 per cent) of drivers have experienced being blocked by other drivers who won’t let them merge, while slightly fewer have been passed by others driving on road shoulders (28 per cent) and have had to drive faster than the posted limit to keep up with the flow of traffic (27 per cent)
- One-fifth of Ontarians say they’ve had to suddenly brake hard (20 per cent) and have grabbed a drink or a bite to eat (17 per cent) while driving in a construction zone.
- 75 per cent of drivers believe fines and demerit points for drivers are possible consequences of speeding in construction zones.
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