A new survey by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) on distracted driving has highlighted how much more dangerous this driver risk has become in recent years.
Of the survey’s respondents, 75% of drivers said they were distracted at the wheel in the past six months. The high number of distracted drivers comes as a surprise, considering that 90% of the respondents also said that they were aware that accidents caused by distracted driving can lead to higher auto insurance premiums.
IBC’s survey had a breakdown of what sort of distractions were taking drivers’ attentions off the road. Among those who admitted they were distracted behind the wheel in the past six months, 55% said they were eating and/or drinking while driving, 39% said they were on the phone, and 11% said they were sending text messages.
Among age groups, the 35-44 sub-group was over-represented among drivers who said they were distracted – 87% from the group admitted to being distracted over the past half year, compared to 75% for all respondents.
“We were very surprised to learn that 90% of drivers are well aware that how you drive can result in higher auto insurance premiums. And yet, we were surprised to note this did not discourage risky behaviour and distracted driving,” commented IBC supervisor of public affairs Anne Morin.