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Crashes listed as top reason for Canadians to stop driving dangerously

Last Updated Aug 26, 2020 at 11:32 am EDT

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More drivers admit to distracted driving now than they did two years ago, survey finds

Desjardins says those who use their phones while driving are more likely to drive while high

Survey finds, for many drivers, being involved in a crash would make them rethink their bad habits

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – From using a phone behind the wheel to driving high, it turns out a lot of Canadians are engaging in dangerous behaviour while on the road.

According to Desjardins’ 2020 road safety survey, more drivers admit to using a cellphone now than they did two years ago — 53 per cent in 2020 versus 38 per cent in 2018.

The number of people who admit to driving distracted rises among those aged 16 to 34, with 60 per cent admitting to having used a cellphone behind the wheel.

Meanwhile, the survey has also found people who drive high are more likely to have driven under the influence of prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Those who use a cellphone behind the wheel are more likely to drive under the influence of marijuana, Desjardins has found.

When it comes to what it would take to stop these dangerous behaviours, more than four in 10 people say getting in a crash.

That’s followed by increased fines at 26 per cent, and the possibility of higher insurance rates if they were to be caught at 21 per cent.

“Every fatality and every injury on our roads is one too many. 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,” Valérie Lavoie, president and chief operating officer, Desjardins General Insurance Group, says.