According to the results from the latest Desjardins national survey, 53% of Canadians have admitted to having driven distracted by their cellphones at least once, a number that is up from 38% last year. Moreover, the majority of them are also aware of how dangerous distracted driving is with 32% saying it’s the riskiest driving behaviour.
When asked about cellphone use specifically, 42% say they use it to look at GPS apps, while 37% said they use their phone for calls and text messages while in their car. “It’s not just the drivers who are at risk, distracted driving has deadly impacts on passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users”, says Robyn Robertson, President and CEO of TIRF.
Interestingly though, Canadians continue to believe the problem lies with other drivers with 93% of drivers saying they rarely or never drive distracted by a cellphone, but at the same time, 84% claim they often or always see others driving distracted by cellphones:
It’s clear that distracted driving remains a serious road safety risk,” said Denis Dubois, President and Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins General Insurance Group. “It’s important to continue to bring awareness to this serious issue as we need to make distracted driving as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving. Stricter penalties and technology help but distracted driving is preventable and changing our behaviors will save lives.”
The survey also found that 98% of Canadians know that distracted driving is against the law but 37% do not know exactly what those laws entail.