September 21, 2017 (Toronto, ON) – A groundbreaking new opinion poll of Canadians shows they have the answer to texting and driving – and it’s not peer pressure or police crackdowns.
Instead, the majority of Canadians in a new public opinion poll by Aviva Canada believe only a technology solution that blocks drivers from using texting and other phone messaging functions while driving will ultimately solve the problem and make roads safer.
Distracted driving kills. More Canadians die on our roads from distracted driving than from impaired driving. The RCMP says that in 4-out-of-5 collisions, drivers have their eyes off the road for just three seconds prior to crashing.
Aviva has long fought distracted driving, launching the Driving Change Together campaign in 2015 and increasing its efforts this year by launching the #avivayolo campaign https://avivayolo.com.
For this new report, Aviva surveyed 1,504 Canadians between August 8-13 with Pollara Strategic Insights.
An overwhelming number of Canadians – 95 per cent of respondents – said texting and driving by others makes them feel unsafe on the roads. A total of 88 per cent of Canadians have witnessed other drivers texting while behind the wheel, while only 22 per cent admitted texting while driving themselves.
“For the first time, what we are seeing is that Canadians don’t think social persuasion or law enforcement strategies against distracted driving are working, and they feel technology is the only realistic answer,” said Aviva Canada President and CEO Greg Somerville.
Canadians are aware of efforts to socially stigmatize distracted driving. They are also aware of increased penalties and demerit points. However, only 48 per cent of Canadians think fines and demerits are a deterrent, while only 32 per cent said they think peer pressure will work.
Instead, almost 4-in-5 Canadians – 78 per cent – said they want to see a technology solution that would stop distracted driving by disabling texting and other functions while the driver is behind the wheel. This week (Sept. 19) Apple’s new iOS operating system debuted a ‘do not disturb while driving’ feature. This is progress as almost three-quarters of Canadians (73 per cent) in our poll said they would use anti-texting technology.
*NOTE: A pdf copy of the opinion poll results is available from Aviva Canada.