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Distracted Driving Research from RSA Insurance

Oh, yes, we know you have heard it all before but..

Canadians are still witnessing many distractions but admit to few, according to RSA's recent client survey.

It turns out many of us are using the driver's seat as a place to apply makeup, fix our hair, shave, scream at other drivers, and make out: are you one of them? According to their survey, 63% of Canadians report witnessing other drivers applying makeup and 57% saw others fixing their hair, compared to a drastically lower 3% who admitted to applying makeup and 7% to fixing their own hair.

We're encouraging people to pay attention to what they are doing behind the wheel," says Alex Walker, Director of Claims Relations, RSA

One of the most interesting findings in the survey is that drivers across the country, including in Ontario where there has been increased activity in combatting distracted driving recently, are not getting the message that talking, texting and driving don't mix. Almost all Canadians reported seeing drivers talking or texting.

"That tells us that despite the recent emphasis on preventing distracted driving, including increased fines and demerit points, Ontario drivers still aren't getting the message," Walker continues. "These are extremely dangerous behaviours and drivers need to be more aware of their actions behind the wheel."
The survey also found:

•24% of Canadians report seeing other drivers make out, while 3% admit to it themselves
•66% of Canadians have witnessed people driving with pets on their lap; less than 4% admit to doing it themselves
•60% of Canadians have watched other drivers scream/swear at other drivers, pedestrians, cyclist, while only 23% admit to that behaviour
•40% of Canadians report seeing other drivers screaming at passengers; 8% admit to doing that themselves
•61% of Canadians have seen other drivers distracted with the radio or GPS, while nearly half admit to that themselves

"We know that distracted drivers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident: no one wants to spend their long weekend in the hospital or worse. Pay attention to driving when you are behind the wheel," says Walker.

Here are a few tips to you from becoming distracted:

•Check your route before you leave – study the map and input information into your GPS before heading off
•Turn your phone off, or at the very least put it away. If you have to make or take an important call, pull over at a safe place first
•Check road reports, listen to weather forecasts, and follow the instructions of local authorities
•Avoid driving in the dark and, if you're tired, pull over and rest or let another driver take a turn behind the wheel
•Ensure that pets are secured
•Keep an emergency kit in the trunk: store items such as first-aid supplies, a flashlight, blanket, your mobile phone charger, batteries, matches, a candle, and a non-perishable snack and water.

So, do youself and others a favour. Avoid the temptation to quickly check that text message. It only takes a second of distraction to result in a lifetime of regret.



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