Many things can distract drivers behind the wheel (i.e., smartphones, other passengers, eating while driving or in-car touch screens). But the latest Desjardins survey released today shows that 8 out of 10 Canadians see others driving distracted, but only 38% admit having driven distracted themselves. It's a concerning insight from survey respondents given the number of thins in-car, and out, that can take a driver's eye off the road. The following are a few other insights we pulled from our survey.

Canadians know distracted driving by smartphone is risky

Overall, Canadians ranked distracted driving by smartphone as the second largest risk factor (27%) when they take to the road, behind alcohol impaired driving (37%). Speeding, aggressive driving, fatigue and drug-impaired driving were also identified as top risk factors. Not only do Canadians know it's risky, but 97% of respondents are aware that it is against the law to use a smartphone while driving.

Non-smartphone related distractions

When it comes to smartphone related distractions, 45% of respondents reported being distracted by texting, emailing, dialing and talking on their cellphone. But it is important to note that respondents also listed non-smartphone related distractions (83%). These factors included the external environment (51%), passengers/children in the car (35%), changing console settings (35%) and eating/drinking (31%).

Best way to deter distracted driving behaviour?

Although 68% of Canadians say that current distracted driving laws are not effective deterrents to distracted driving, 55% stated that fines are still most likely to discourage drivers from being distracted behind the wheel.  Alarmingly, 37% stated that getting into a motor vehicle collision would be the best deterrent for distracted driving!

Partnering for Change

Desjardins works closely with national partners, like the Traffic Injury Research Foundation and Parachute, to better inform Canadians about the risks of the road. Desjardins is proud to share two additional resources that will help combat distracted driving:
Distraction-Related Fatal Collisions, 2000-2015
A new fact sheet from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation that examines the magnitude and trends in the role of driver distraction in motor vehicle fatalities in Canada.
Distracted Driving: Changing the Culture Discussion Panel
An engaging and interactive discussion panel from Parachute, Canada's national charity dedicated to injury prevention. The panel will gather key stakeholders to discuss how Vision Zero can be best applied to distracted driving.

For journalists only: John Bordignon
905-750-1999 / 1-877-306-5252 (Ext: 632-5567)