A majority of Canadians say dangerous driving has been increasing recently, a timely warning for those on the road for essential trips this holiday season, according to the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).
CAA polling found speeding, aggressive behaviour and using a phone topped the list of dangerous driving observed.
The poll discovered 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.
“If you must be on the road this holiday season, please be careful,” says Ian Jack, vice-president of public affairs, CAA National. “Put the phone away while driving and follow speed limits. The roads may be quieter but the rules still apply and they’re there for a reason – to keep everyone safe,” says Jack.
CAA offered the following advice to drivers who must be on the road for essential trips this holiday season:
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.
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.
Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists, especially with fewer people driving. Make eye contact with pedestrians and check your blind spots for cyclists.
Don’t be that snowball on wheels. Clear ice and snow from all exterior windows and mirrors before you start driving.
Don’t be a phantom vehicle. Make sure your front and rear lights are on. Not only does it make your path clearer, but it also helps other road users see you.
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.
CAA is a non-profit federation of eight Clubs providing over six million Members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection. CAA was named Canada’s most trusted brand in 2020 by the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.