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A survey by comparison site Rates.ca found that a good portion of Canadians believe that distracted driving is the number one threat when it comes to car-related deaths.
The poll was conducted by Forum Research for Rates.ca, with 1,173 respondents participating.
According to the survey, 40% of the respondents said distracted driving is the top cause of vehicle-related deaths. By comparison, 33% of respondents identified impaired driving as the leading factor.
When asked if they have told a driver to stop texting or engaging in phone calls while behind the wheel, 58% said they have done so on at least one occasion. Moreover, over 50% of Canadians aged 18 to 34 said that they have told a driver to stop using their mobile device on more than three occasions.
The survey also asked Canadians to rank the following activities typically associated with distracted driving according to how likely they are to contribute to the risk of a collision:
“The fact that Canadians are now acknowledging distracted driving as the number one threat to fatalities on the road is significant,” Rates.ca road safety ambassador Paul Kovacs commented.
Kovacs also cautioned that any action that takes a driver’s attention off the road will create unsafe conditions, adding that texting, answering calls, or drinking coffee should be done when the car is parked.
The survey also revealed that 67% of drivers believe there should be stiffer penalties for younger novice drivers for first and second offenses. 95% of Canadians also said that the dangers of distracted driving should be taught in school – 47% said it should be taught in primary school, while 48% said in high school.