SOURCE: Allstate Canada

Allstate Canada

June 27, 2013 06:00 ET

Survey: Gen X Worst Distracted Driving Culprits; Most Canadians Perceive Behaviour Negatively Even as This Behaviour Increases

Allstate Cautions Motorists as July Is Among Deadliest on Canada's Roads

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 27, 2013) - July has the highest percentage of fatal collisions in many Canadian jurisdictions. Because the roads are clear and dry, there may be an increased temptation to multi-task behind the wheel. In a recent Allstate Insurance Company of Canada survey, Generation X (born 1965-1980) are the most likely to admit to most distracted driving behaviours (95 per cent). 

Still, almost all Canadian drivers (97 per cent) perceive distracted driving negatively if done by other drivers. Overall, 90 per cent admit to some kind of distraction behind the wheel, which is up from 75 per cent the last time Allstate Canada conducted a similar survey in 2010.

Gen X is followed by Boomers (born 1946-1964) with 91 per cent admitting to some form of distraction behind the wheel. Generation Y (also known as the Millennial generation, born 1981 to 1996) comes in third at 88 per cent, followed by the Silent Generation (born 1925-1945) at 84 per cent.

Among the most common distractions are

  • Eating/drinking (77 per cent)
  • Adjusting the radio or iPod/MP3 player (63 per cent)
  • Looking at passengers when speaking to them (51 per cent)
  • Playing the radio excessively loud (45 per cent)

The Allstate Canada distracted driver poll also found that 35 per cent of both Gen X and Millennials admit to texting, sending emails or taking pictures at the wheel. Adding to their distracted driving behaviours, almost one-third of both Gen X (29 per cent) and Millennials (32 per cent) put themselves and their passengers at risk by actually putting on and taking off clothing or accessories while driving.

"Driving well while distracted is not a skill you can learn," says Saskia Matheson, Director, Enterprise Risk Management, Auto for Allstate Canada. "No matter how many years of experience you have behind the wheel, distracted driving is never acceptable. We need to reinforce with all drivers the severity of distracted driving and that everyone needs to make a conscious commitment to keeping our roads safer."

When asked whether there should be tougher laws to discourage distracted driving, the younger the generation, the less likely they were to agree (85 per cent of Silent Generation, 80 per cent of Boomers, 76 per cent of Gen X and 66 per cent of Gen Y believed there should be tougher laws). 

Other highlights from the study include:

  • 82 per cent of Boomers and 85 per cent of Canadians from the Silent Generation say that aggressive driving is a very serious threat to road safety.
  • Only 68 per cent of Gen X and 63 per cent of Millennials view aggressive driving as a very serious threat to road safety.
  • 91 per cent of passengers would voice their concern if their driver was engaging in distracting behaviour; 96 per cent of drivers would stop driving distracted if a passenger asked them to.
  • More than eight in ten Canadians (83 per cent) are aware that they could be ticketed and/or fined for driving distracted.

For more information about the dangers of distracted driving, visit justdrivecanada.ca where Canadian teens shared their solutions to distracted driving through video, audio and pictures. The national contest will relaunch in fall 2013.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of Canada's leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products, and also recently named to Aon Hewitt's Best Employers in Canada list. "The Good Hands Network®" enables consumers to contact Allstate Canada through one of 82 community-based Agencies, directly online at allstate.ca and through the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-Allstate. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), Crime Stoppers, United Way and Junior Achievement. In 2010, Allstate Canada, in partnership with the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), created the Allstate All-Canadians program, a mentorship program designed to guide the next generation of Canada's hockey youth. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit allstate.ca and justdrivecanada.ca.

About the Allstate Canada Distracted Driver Poll

Allstate Canada commissioned Abacus Data (abacusdata.ca) to conduct an online survey of 2465 Canadian adults, including 2175 who have their drivers licenses. The total sample was weighted by age, gender and region to be proportionately representative of the Canadian population aged 18 and older. Responses were collected between May 21 - 25, 2013.

Contact Information

  • For more information about the distracted driver survey results or to speak to an Allstate Canada spokesperson, please contact:

    Jennifer Fox
    Thornley Fallis Communications
    T: 416.515.7517 x 350
    fox@thornleyfallis.ca