Only a crash would stop many drivers from texting behind the wheel, survey finds
VANCOUVER -- Most people know distracted driving is dangerous, but more drivers than ever say they are doing it anyway.
Fifty-three per cent of those surveyed in a study by the Desjardins Group admitted to using their cellphone while driving. That’s up from 38 per cent in 2018.
When asked what would make them break the habit, 41 per cent answered a collision.
Karen Bowman, director of Drop It And Drive, an education program focused on fatality and injury prevention, figures many distracted drivers feel they're invisible because they’ve never been a car accident.
“But there’s a really important word that should come after that statement, which is 'yet' – 'I’ve never caused a crash yet,'" said Bowman.
“I don’t think they’re thinking through the impact on themselves, their families, first responders coming to the scene and other victims that may be involved in the collision” she added.
Steeper fines and higher insurance rates fell far behind in reasons to make drivers break the habit, at 26 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively.
“Those responses might change significantly if all of sudden if you have to look somebody in the eye and say, ‘Well, this activity that I was engaged in was more important than your family getting home safely,'" argued Bowman.
The web survey also found most drivers are wary of how others use electronic devices behind the wheel.
It was conducted on behalf of Desjardins by Ad Hoc Research, which surveyed 3,104 Canadians between the ages of 16 and 74.