Toronto, Ontario – A survey by students in three Canadian cities yesterday found that many people are distracted by their driving. The students, participating in Allstate Insurance’s Action Against Distraction initiative, counted drivers in Moncton, Montreal and Toronto.
After one hour at one intersection in each of the cities, the students counted 802 drivers who were distracted while they drove. Allstate agents in Calgary, Edmonton, Sudbury, Ottawa, Windsor and Halifax did similar counts at busy intersections within their communities and counted an additional 619 distracted drivers.
“Driving while distracted is the equivalent of driving after drinking four beers, so even one distracted driver is one too many,” said Saskia Matheson, spokesperson for Allstate Canada. “All Canadian provinces now have distracted driving legislation in place, but it is not enough. Drivers need to be reminded of the dangers of taking their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel even for a few seconds.”
The students counted 199 distracted drivers in Toronto, 314 in Montreal, and 289 in Moncton. Eating or drinking was the most common distraction, accounting for 25 per cent of distraction in all cities surveyed. This was followed by talking to other passengers, at 17 per cent; smoking at 16 per cent; and talking on a cell phone or texting at 15 per cent.