BC, Alberta drivers have the worst habits

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July, 2012 – Looking for Canada’s most distracted and aggressive drivers? Head west. According to a new poll from Angus Reid, drivers in British Columbia and Alberta appear to display the most bad driving habits including cutting into a lane without signaling and tailgating.

The public opinion poll found Albertan drivers seem to lead the way in multitasking, running red lights and littering, while British Columbian drivers are apparently more likely than others to turn where they should not and invade the crosswalk. Atlantic Canadians appear to be especially mindful of not littering, while Quebecers rarely see a driver invading the crosswalk.

Bad driving habits do span the country, especially when it comes to using their cellphones behind the wheel. Nine out of 10 respondents (90 percent) say they have seen a driver talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving.

Support for a national regulation to ban the use of hand-held cell phones while driving has increased by six points since an Angus Reid Public Opinion survey conducted in November 2010. Practically nine-in-ten Canadians (89 percent) are in favour of a law that would be applied at the federal level even thought all provinces have enacted their own legislation.

Cellphones aside, a majority of respondents across the country also report seeing drivers tailgating (77 percent), cutting into another lane without notice (67 percent), multitasking while driving (65 percent) and running red lights (59 percent).

Almost half of Canadians say they have seen a driver-or a passenger-littering (46 percent) and a driver turning where a turn is not allowed (45 percent). The least reported bad habit is a driver invading the crosswalk when people are on it (33 percent).

Canadian drivers tend to deal rather passively when dealing with other rule-breaking drivers. More than half of Canadians (53 percent) have honked their horn, while three-in-ten (29 percent) have cursed at the driver and one-in-five (20 percent) have waved their fist, arms or hands. Only 15 percent have made an obscene gesture, and nine percent have called the police to report the driver.

Most people in Alberta (59 percent), Quebec (56 percent) and Ontario (55 percent) have honked their horn at a bad driver. Albertans, however, are markedly more likely to curse at a bad driver (38 percent), wave their fist, arms or hands (27 percent) and call the police to report the driver (18 percent).

Across the country, 78 per cent of respondents say that “none” or “a few” of the drivers in their municipality are bad drivers, while one-in-five (20 percent) claim that “most” or “all” of them are bad drivers. The only areas where at least one-in-four respondents referred to “most” or “all” drivers as bad are Manitoba and Saskatchewan (27 percent), Alberta (26 percent) and Ontario (25 percent).