Unsafe driving on the rise, CAA poll finds

OTTAWA, ON (December 29, 2020) – A majority of Canadians say dangerous driving has been increasing recently, with speeding, aggressive behaviour and using a phone topping the list of problems observed, according to the most recent poll 1 by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).

“There is a false sense of security for drivers on the road these days. With fewer cars around, compared to pre-COVID, motorists may feel they can get away with riskier driving,” says Ian Jack, vice-president of public affairs, CAA National. “But the risk is always there, whether that’s another vehicle or other road users.”

The poll found 56 per cent of Canadians have observed an increase in one or more unsafe driving behaviours since September, when compared to the early days of the pandemic. More than one-third of Canadians (35 per cent) said they have seen an increase in drivers speeding, while 32 per cent reported more aggressive driving, and 30 per cent said they have noticed more drivers using their phone behind the wheel.

Valuable safety tips

Although non-essential travel is not recommended at this time, keep these safety tips in mind if you need to take to the road: 

  1. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. When drivers rush, they are more likely to engage in risky driving behaviour that could hurt themselves or someone else on the road.
  2. Set your GPS and playlist before driving. Reduce distractions by having everything set before you begin your trip. If you are driving with someone else, designate them to watch your phone so you can keep your mind and eyes on the road.
  3. Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists, especially with fewer people driving. Make eye contact with pedestrians and check your blind spots for cyclists.
  4. Don’t be that snowball on wheels. Clear ice and snow from all exterior windows and mirrors before you start driving.
  5. Don’t be a phantom vehicle. Make sure your front and rear lights are on. Not only does it make your path clearer, it also helps other road users see you.

About CAA Niagara

CAA Niagara is a not-for-profit organization that assists each of its members by providing exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA was named Canada’s most trusted brand in the annual Brand Trust Index for 2020 by the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.

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1 The latest CAA findings are based on a poll of 1,528 Canadians carried out from December 9 to 16, 2020. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.51%, 19 times out of 20.

Driving distracted with phone behind the wheel.