Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

October 04, 2007 14:11 ET

CAA Reminds Motorists to Avoid Distractions This Long Week-End

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 4, 2007) - As Canadians prepare to travel to celebrate the fall harvest this long week-end, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) reminds drivers to stay safe by avoiding distractions while driving.

According to a recent poll conducted for CAA by Harris/Decima, over 10.8 million Canadians will be on the highways this long week-end. With this high volume of traffic, Canadians believe that the most dangerous aspect of long week-end driving is driver distraction.

Another recent survey of Canadians conducted for CAA by Harris/Decima, a surprising 59% of Canadians indicated that driver distraction is the most dangerous aspect of long week-end driving. This week's survey also indicated that the situation is not improving. Of those polled, 57% responded that distracted driving is more of a concern today than it was five years ago, and an additional 35% responded that it has not improved. And yet, 44% of those surveyed stated that they drive while using a cell phone or other electronic device, and almost one in ten stated that they do this often.

"Given that Canadians feel that driver distraction is the most dangerous aspect of long week-end driving, CAA reminds everyone to drive with caution during the long week-end", said David Armour, President of CAA. "Driving demands our concentration and attention. Each of us will choose this week-end whether or not we are a distracted driver."

Distracted driving is something Canadian drivers can reduce by following some simple safety tips.

CAA tips for driving safely this long week-end:

- Pull off the road and stop in a safe location before using a cell phone or hand held electronic device, or to eat or drink

- Place children under 12 in the back seat in the correct car or booster seat and make sure that they have toys and games to occupy their attention

- Familiarize yourself with your route before departing

- Allow extra distance between cars, particularly on busy highways

- Leave early and slow down - excessive speed is a contributing factor in 20 per cent of driver and passenger fatalities

- Don't drink and drive - holiday weekends tend to be the time for special events and family gatherings, many of which involve alcohol. Be responsible - don't drink & drive.

- Don't become a fatigued driver - many people try to "maximize" the holiday weekend by heading out on the road at night, when they might be tired. Start fresh in the morning.

- And always fasten your seatbelt. A surprising 40% of Canadians that died in traffic collisions were not wearing a seat belt

"The key in arriving safely this weekend is to slow down, buckle-up and limit your distractions in every way that you can" said Armour.

About the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

CAA is a federation of 9 automobile clubs serving 5 million members through 148 offices across Canada. CAA provides a wide range of member services and works to improve travelling and motoring conditions at home and around the world, including national advocacy efforts on both traffic safety and public policy issues that affect Canadian motorists

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