Distracted driving tops the list of the most dangerous driving habits

Windsor, ON (Apr. 19, 2013) – As we head into the last few days of the Ontario Provincial Police’s (OPP) “Put Down the Phone and Leave it Alone” campaign (April 15-22), is committed to talking about the importance of making the steering wheel the only priority when driving. And, as we move into the warmer weather, the increase of pedestrians, motorcycles, cyclists and children playing outdoors, means we need to be even more vigilant.

According to the OPP, distracted driving is cited as a causal factor in 30 to 50 per cent of traffic collisions on Ontario, but is probably much higher due to under-reporting. In two separate Angus Reid vehicle safety awareness surveys conducted by, habits that cause driver distraction continually rank high as concerns, especially in school zones. The surveys uncovered some frightening statistics about driver habits and the eye-opening reality of dangers on the road:

Distracted drivers put children at risk in school safety zones:

  • 71 per cent of parents in Ontario and Alberta said distracted drivers are their biggest concern in school safety zones, while 59 per cent cited drivers on their cell phones who are talking, texting, and emailing as their top concern.
  • 68 per cent have witnessed drivers talking or texting on a cell phone while driving through a school safety zone.

Drivers are ignoring the danger and distraction of being tired while driving:

  • 30% of men and 14% of women have nodded off behind the wheel.
  • 23% of men and 11% of women have swerved because they were tired.
  • 32% of men and 24% of women said they worried about getting their family into an accident because they were tired while driving.

Not only are drivers scared of the dangers of distracted driving, it’s also the number one annoyance according to a recent poll of’s Facebook fans—talking on a cell phone came out on top as the driving habit that gets them the most annoyed.

“Distracted driving is dangerous and illegal, and the police take it seriously all the time, not just during crackdowns,” says Gail Robertson, Road Safety Ambassador, “One second with your eyes on your cell phone, checking your hair in the mirror or rubbernecking at another accident, is all it takes for something terrible to happen.”

There is no shortage of information available about the dangers of distracted driving, as well as some tips on how to avoid falling into the trap of distraction. Check out the resources below, and remember, awareness can help save a life.

About the School Safety Survey

From September 6-13, 2012, the Angus Reid Forum conducted an online survey on behalf of among a randomly selected group of 749 Ontario parents/step-parents and 589 Alberta parents/step-parents – all of whom have children in their household between four and 14 years who attend public or private school and either walk or are driven to school.

About the Neglected Driver Survey

From June 19-22, 2012, an online survey was conducted among 1,003 randomly selected Canadian adults from Ontario with kids under twelve, who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members.

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