Vancouver, British Columbia – Almost all drivers admit to wasting gas, even though they say fuel efficiency is important, according to a new survey commissioned by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC).

The survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid, found that the average B.C. driver spends almost 11 hours a week in the car. Of those surveyed, 96 per cent said they wasted fuel, by either letting their car idle for more than 10 seconds, or driving at speeds of 10 to 20 km/h over the speed limit. However, most said that fuel efficiency will be an important factor when they purchase their next vehicle.

“Driving smart – changing how we drive to save money on gas and reduce our vehicle carbon emissions – has the added benefit of being safer,” said Jeff Schulz, ICBC vice-president of strategic marketing. “We’re asking motorists to examine the impact of their driving habits and learn how to avoid being ‘dirty’ drivers.”

The survey also found that 93 per cent of respondents admitted to participating in some sort of distracting behaviour while driving. These included eating and/or drinking at the wheel (73 per cent); singing in the car (69 per cent); talking on a cell phone (66 per cent); picking the nose (30 per cent); smoking (24 per cent); fighting with passengers (20 per cent); texting (20 per cent); reading (16 per cent); and entertaining children (14 per cent). As well, 17 per cent admitted to doing more than one of the above at the same time.

Older drivers age 66 and above are less likely to engage in distracting behaviours, while drivers 18 to 25 are most likely to multi-task behind the wheel.

Tips for smarter driving, and a chance to win a 2009 Smart Fortwo, can be found at Drive Smart.

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