Tired of Drivers Talking on the Phone While Behind the Wheel? You’re Not Alone

RBC Insurance survey finds driving pet peeves vary dramatically by generation, but driver use of a phone is #1

Toronto, ON (June 18, 2014) – With the summer vacation season almost here, traffic will increase and so will driving annoyances and unsafe practices. According to a recent RBC Insurance survey, nearly all licensed Canadians (95 per cent) have strong pet peeves while driving. Drivers who use their cell phone while driving (55 per cent) top the list, followed closely by tailgating (45 per cent) and not indicating lane changes or turns (39 per cent).

“Nearly all Canadians admit to having certain pet peeves within their day-to-day life, with drivers feeling no different,” explains Natalie Dupuis, senior product manager, Auto, RBC Insurance. “It’s not surprising that cell phone use tops our list of driving pet peeves. Whether you’re texting, talking on the phone, or tweeting, these behaviours are not only annoying, but are unsafe and break driving laws.”

Pet peeves change through the generations

Older licensed Canadians (68 per cent) are more likely to identify cell phone use as their top driving pet peeve; whereas younger drivers site tailgating/following too closely as their number one driving annoyance. In fact, only 42 per cent of younger drivers list cell phone use as one of their pet peeves.

Does age matter when it comes to road rage?

When witnessing a pet peeve being committed on the road, 25 per cent of Canadian drivers are likely to take some kind of action. One-in-10 say that they will angrily yell at the offender, while others say they will commit common pet peeves themselves such as tailgating, driving more quickly to get in front of the offender, slowing down or braking purposely or cutting them off.

Older Canadian drivers are significantly more likely than their younger and middle-aged counterparts to just accept the annoyance and not let it bother them. Younger Canadians, however, are most likely to take some kind of action against pet peeve offenders. In fact, 16 per cent of younger drivers say that they will angrily yell at the culprit if they see a pet peeve being committed.

“It’s troublesome to see that one-in-four Canadians exhibit some form of aggressive driving behaviour. It’s important for drivers to not only realize the impact of their actions and avoid these types of responses, but to practice safe driving behaviours while on the road,” explains Dupuis.

Based on these findings, RBC Insurance encourages drivers to follow these safe driving tips:

  • Drive defensively – Drive at a safe speed and leave plenty of distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead. Obey all signs and signals, including speed limits, traffic lights, stop signs and railway crossings.
  • Don’t text, talk and drive – Put your cell phone away and out of reach. Reduce the temptation by keeping it out of sight, like in the trunk or in a bag, and turn the ringer off.
  • Share the road – Motorists need to be cautious of cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. Always be on the lookout for and yield to vulnerable road users. Summer also brings increased construction on our roads and highways so be prepared to stop or slow down in construction zones.
  • Avoid road rage – When encountering an aggressive driver, calm yourself down, take deep breaths and don’t let the road enrage you. Do not get angry, gesture or yell back, or reciprocate the high risk driving behaviour.
  • Stay alert – Canadians often travel long distances when they go on roadtrips and this creates a temptation to keep driving for extended periods of time. Ensure you get a good night’s sleep before leaving on a long trip and if you start to get tired, take a break.
  • Prepare your vehicle – Before leaving on vacation, have your vehicle checked to ensure everything is working properly. Repair or replace worn parts and check fluid levels and tire pressure.

About the RBC Insurance Poll

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of RBC Insurance from March 28 to April 3, 2014. For the survey, a sample of 1,010 Canadians licensed to operate a motor vehicle in their respective province was interviewed online via Ipsos’s I-Say online panel. The precision of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a Bayesian Credibility Interval. In this case, the survey is considered accurate to within �3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians licensed to drive been surveyed. These data were weighted to ensure that the sample’s age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the latest Census information.

About RBC Insurance

RBC Insurance®, through its operating entities, provides a wide range of travel, life, health, home, auto, wealth and reinsurance products and solutions, as well as creditor and business insurance services to individual, business and group clients. RBC Insurance has more than four million clients globally. We are one of the largest Canadian bank-owned group of insurance companies, and among the fastest growing insurance organizations in the country. RBC Insurance employs more than 3,000 employees, and is the brand name for the insurance operating entities of Royal Bank of Canada.

SOURCE: RBC Insurance