Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

November 15, 2010 10:14 ET

CAA Survey Finds Texting While Driving Has Risen to the Top of Canadians' Driver Safety Concerns

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 15, 2010) - Texting while driving has pushed ahead of impaired driving as the biggest single traffic safety concern for Canadians, a CAA poll has found.

For more than a decade, impaired driving stood alone at the top of Canadians' traffic safety concerns. Indeed, Canadians remain just as concerned about impaired driving as they have been previously.

But texting while driving has risen to the top of the list of threats to their personal safety on the road. 

"This is a remarkable development in a relatively short time", said Jeff Walker, CAA Vice-President of Public Affairs. "Impaired driving has long been far and away the greatest concern, and texting while driving has really only emerged as an issue over the past couple of years, as cell phones and now smartphones have become more omnipresent in our lives."

The CAA survey also shows that young Canadians, disproportionately those under 30, are texting while driving on a frequent basis.

Seven provinces have implemented legislation banning texting while driving, but almost all these laws are relatively new.

"Legislation alone will not solve the issue. Enforcement along with public awareness and education are required, as well as a change in how we as a society view the habit," said Mr. Walker. "It is a matter of our society making the practice of texting while driving socially unacceptable."

The CAA poll of over 6,000 Canadians found that 85 per cent of respondents feel texting while driving is the number one road safety issue today. Impaired driving remains the number two concern, at 83 per cent. Among CAA members, the difference is even more pronounced, with 88 per cent feeling texting while driving is the greatest concern.

As well, the poll found the problem is not a lack of awareness of the laws governing this issue. Canadians of all ages are familiar with laws in their respective regions banning the practice.

"Even a moment's distraction can be dangerous. A second or two may not seem like much, but at 50 km/hr a vehicle travels 14 meters in one second. A moment's inattention could ruin your life, and the life of many others," Walker said.

As part of its efforts to raise public awareness on the topic of distracted driving, CAA supports the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, to be held this year on November 17.

The CAA poll of 6,000 Canadians is considered accurate to within 1.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

CAA is a federation of nine automobile clubs providing more than 5.5 million members with emergency roadside assistance, travel and insurance services, and member rewards. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to our members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection.

Contact Information

  • To book an interview with Jeff Walker today:
    Canadian Automobile Association
    Alayne Crawford
    Manager of Public Affairs
    c. 613-796-9404
    acrawford@national.caa.ca