Waze Releases 2021 ‘Year in Rear View’; New Santa Driving Experience

Waze santa drives

Google-owned Waze has released its annual survey of users using first and third-party data, asking respondents in Canada, along with those in the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Israel, Brazil and Mexico about their driving experience using the app and behaviours.

Santa is Here for Driving with Spotify Playlists

Also new is a Santa driving experience available today, allowing Canadians to pick from two different versions on their drives, including regular Santa and Mall Santa.

There are also two Spotify playlists for your drives with Santa as well, in partnership with Universal Music:

“Waze’s inaugural Year in Rear View gives us the chance to capture a snapshot of Canadian driving behaviours and help us better understand driving trends during 2021, a year when many of us got back to travelling on the road,” said Mike Wilson, Canada Country Manager, Waze, in an issued statement to iPhone in Canada.

Here are the results of the 2021 Year in Rear View from Waze: 

  • 70% of Canadians said shopping was the main reason they drove this year, with family visits (48%), visiting friends (37%) and commuting for work (36%) accounting for other top reasons for getting in the car
  • Residences and restaurants were top navigations for Canadians in 2021
  • 52% of Canadian drivers would wait patiently instead of using their horn if someone ahead of them wasn’t moving. 60% of those in the Atlantic region would wait compared to 48% from Central Canada
  • 66% of Canadian respondents are happy drivers, rating themselves an 8 or above (out of 10) compared to 60% globally
  • Older Canadians are more confident parallel parkers: while 38% of 18 to 24-year-olds refused to parallel park in 2021, only 3% of those 65 and over refused
  • Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits” was the 2021 song that best reflected Canadians’ year on the road (15%)

Here’s what kept Canadian drivers entertained this year:

  • Canadian artists topped music charts. Globally, the top five songs drivers listened to via the Spotify integration on Waze included ‘STAY’ by The Kid LAROI with Justin Bieber (#1) and ‘Blinding Lights’ by The Weeknd (#5)
  • Sweets and candy were the top snack of choice for drivers globally, except in Canada and the U.S. where drivers prefer fast food
  • Listening to music was the top way Canadian drivers entertained themselves behind the wheel (82%), similar to the 76% of global respondents who did the same

What did Canadians do while driving in 2021? It depends on where you live:

  • 45% said they belted the music to their favourite song, but that number was higher in the Prairies at 54% and lower in Central Canada at 40%
  • 36% said they waved at another driver, but drivers in the Prairies were the most friendly with 48% waving, while only 29% of drivers in Central Canada waved

Local Canada Navigations

  • Waze says between January 1 and November 2, 2021, August showed the highest increase in nationwide driving (+70%) compared to pre-COVID numbers

Top cities where Wazers drove the most this summer (June-September)?

  1. Toronto
  2. Montreal
  3. Mississauga, Ont.
  4. Laval, Que.
  5. Vaughan, Ont.
  6. Ottawa
  7. Brampton, Ont.
  8. Hamilton, Ont.
  9. Longueuil, Que.
  10. Québec City

Are you planning to travel for the holidays this year? 

  1. No (41%)
  2. Yes, to another city/outside my local area (24%)
  3. Yes, within my city/local area (16%)
  4. I don’t know yet (15%)
  5. Yes, to another country (9%)

“We learned that Canadians showed a preference for beautiful scenery, while most drivers got on the road to visit family and go shopping over the last year. We’re looking forward to seeing how Canadians take to the roads in 2022 – a year we predict will see even more drivers on the road,” added Wilson.

Waze said the research was conducted by OnePoll, taking place from October 27 to November 9, 2021, with a sample size of 11,000 adults in the countries mentioned above.