Ontario road safety in peril – study

More than half of respondents also admitted to engaging in dangerous driving habits

Ontario road safety in peril – study

Motor & Fleet

By Lyle Adriano

Drivers in Ontario no longer feel as safe as before on the road, a new study by CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) has found, as more dangerous driving activity has been recorded in the province.

The study, conducted by DIG Insights on behalf of CAA SCO, found that 98% of Ontario drivers witnessed unsafe driving behaviours in the past year – this represents a 3% increase from last year’s figures.

CAA SCO also ointed out that this increase in unsafe driving behaviors could also explain why 6% fewer Ontario drivers are feeling safe on the road, particularly on highways with speed limits of 100km/h.

“Ontario police services continue to report significant amounts of speeding, stunt and aggressive driving. Although the pandemic amplified the awareness, the issue was growing well before that,” said CAA SCO community relations consultant Michael Stewart.

The study also found that roughly half of respondents have identified speeding as a major problem in Ontario. This comes as no surprise to CAA SCO, as the insurer revealed in its study that speeding was the most common dangerous driving behavior recorded, followed by aggressive driving, unsafely changing lanes and distracted driving.

“Traffic returning to pre-pandemic levels could be the reason why we’re seeing this increase in unsafe driving,” said Stewart, adding that some drivers “even admit to doing it themselves.”

The report found that 58% had admitted to engaging in dangerous driving behaviors. Another 43% admitted to speeding, while 17% said they drove distracted, 8% said they made unsafe lane changes, and 6% said they drove aggressively.

Stewart pointed out that these behaviors are typically observed on higher-speed highways.

“It can be nerve-wracking when you come across a driver who is behaving this way,” the representative said.

“If you do come across a speeding or aggressive driver, the best thing you can do is stay calm, focus on your driving and do not engage with the other driver.”

Stewart advised that drivers can pull over and call 911 if they see someone driving erratically, or if they believe another driver could be an immediate danger to others.

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