More than half of Canadians admit to driving while distracted: survey


Published August 26, 2020 at 11:30 pm


While many Canadians have adopted additional safety measures during their day-to-day lives, the same can’t be said about their driving.

Desjardins’s 2020 road safety survey found more drivers admitted to using their cell phone while driving compared to 2018.

According to the findings, 53 per cent of Canadians admitted to using their device while driving, compared to just 38 per cent of those surveyed in 2018.

Additionally, 33 per cent of those who admitted to driving while under the influence of marijuana said they had done so within the last 12 months.

Further, the findings indicate 67 per cent of Canadians believe drivers are more likely to become distracted because they rely on advanced safety systems.

“Every fatality and every injury on our roads is one too many. We all have a responsibility to keep our roads safe by creating a distraction-free environment, staying sober while driving, and better understanding the benefits—but also the limitations—of vehicle safety technologies,” Valérie Lavoie, president and COO of Desjardins General Insurance Group, said in a news release.

While there are many distractions drivers can face behind the wheel, cell phones were among the most listed.

Among drivers between the ages of 16 and 34, 60 per cent admitted to having driven while distracted by a cell phone.

Moreover, when asked what would best deter them from using their phones while driving, 41 per cent of respondents said a collision would, while 26 per cent said it would be increased fines, and 21 per cent cited increased insurance rates.

The survey also found those who drive while using their cell phone are more likely to drive while under the influence of marijuana, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medications.

As well, while many Canadians appreciate the technological advancements that continue to make driving easier, 72 per cent said they wouldn’t trust self-driving cars.

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