Half of Canadians perceive roads as more unsafe – survey

Insurer reveals findings of annual distracted driving poll

Half of Canadians perceive roads as more unsafe – survey

Motor & Fleet

By Terry Gangcuangco

The Travelers Companies, Inc. has unveiled the findings of its 2024 Travelers Canada Distracted Driving Risk Survey, indicating a growing concern among Canadian motorists about road safety.

The survey revealed that nearly 50% of respondents perceive the roads as being more hazardous than they were in the previous year. Additionally, a significant number of drivers admit to distracted driving behaviours, with about a third reporting involvement in collisions or narrow escapes caused by such actions.

Common distractions include consulting maps or reading directions (72%), utilizing hands-free technology to talk on the phone (67%), and eating or drinking while driving (60%).

The poll also indicated the impact of work obligations on driving focus. It was found that about 31% of Canadian drivers engage in work-related communications while driving due to the need to be reachable or in response to potential work emergencies.

The risk of distracted driving is real and yet entirely preventable,” said Paul Stone, vice president of personal insurance, sales, distribution, and marketing at Travelers Canada.

“Thankfully, there are simple steps all drivers can take to reduce the risk for everyone on the road, such as setting a mobile device to ‘do not disturb’ mode or leaving a little earlier to avoid rushing to a destination.”

Discussing the danger of using mobile devices while driving, for instance, could enhance safe driving practices. According to the study, many Canadians are more likely to refrain from using their phones if a passenger voices concern.

The role of parents in promoting safe driving habits was another critical finding, with 61% expressing worry over their children’s driving distractions. The survey showed that young drivers are prone to using technology on the road, with a significant number engaging in activities like recording videos or using social media.

Stone advises parents to “be a role model, be supportive, and stay involved” in educating young motorists.

Conducted online with 1,000 Canadians aged 18 to 69, the survey sampled from the Angus Reid Forum from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2.

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