53 percent of Canadians admit to using a phone while driving: study

41 percent of respondents said they would stop driving while distracted if they got into a vehicle collision

distracted driving

A new study released by Desjardins reveals that more Canadians are admitting to using a phone to text or check emails while driving.

The study found that 53 percent of Canadian drivers admitted to using a phone while driving in 2020. This is a notable increase from the 38 percent reported in the 2018 study.

Unfortunately, the number increases when looking at young drivers between 16 to 34 years old, of which 60 percent admit that they have driven distracted by a phone.

When asked what would stop them from distracted driving, 41 percent said they would stop if they got into a vehicle collision, while 26 percent said they would stop if they were fined. Interestingly, 21 percent said they would stop if there was a possibility that their auto insurance premiums would go up.

Further, 69 percent of Canadians trust the vehicle safety technologies in their vehicles like lane departure, front collision warning and automatic emergency braking.

Forty-six percent of respondents said they think Canadians are over-reliant on vehicle safety technologies, while 79 percent of Canadians think there should be more education on how to use the technology.

In terms of self-driving cars, 72 percent of respondents said they don’t trust autonomous technology.

“We all have a responsibility to keep our roads safe by creating a distraction-free environment, staying sober while driving, and better understanding the benefits – but also the limitations – of vehicle safety technologies,” said Valerie Lavoie, the president of Desjardins General Insurance Group, in a press release.

The report outlines that people who drive while distracted by a phone are also more prone to drive under the influence of marijuana, which represents a dangerous accumulation of risk factors.

Desjardins compiled this study through a web panel survey conducted by Ad Hoc Research among Canadians aged 16 to 74 years old. A total of 3,104 respondents were surveyed.

Image credit: Desjardins

Source: Desjardins