One Third of Ontario Drivers Confess to Driving Distracted

New survey reveals top reasons for driving distracted

Thornhill, ON (Oct. 24, 2016) – Drivers are giving every excuse in the book for not paying attention behind the wheel. A new Ipsos survey conducted for CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) shows one in three (32 per cent) Ontarians admit to driving distracted because of their mobile devices, and the number one reason for not focusing on the road is because someone called.

“There is no excuse for driving distracted,” said Teresa Di Felice, Director Government and Community Relations, CAA SCO. “Making a phone call or sending a text message isn’t worth putting your life or someone else’s at risk.”

Top 10 reasons for driving distracted:

  • Someone has called (44 per cent)
  • Emergency purposes (33 per cent)
  • Have to get in touch with someone I am meeting (27 per cent)
  • Someone has texted (26 per cent)
  • Have to talk to spouse (21 per cent)
  • Have to talk to parents (17 per cent)
  • Able to multi-task (15 per cent)
  • Use for work (11 per cent)
  • Bored at red light (11 per cent)
  • Have to talk to children (9 per cent)

Tips to reduce distractions behind the wheel:

  • Turn off mobile devices
  • Stow and secure loose objects
  • Prepare children with everything they need
  • Pre-set the climate control and radio
  • Pre-program your route on GPS
  • Allow phone calls to go to voicemail
  • Don’t text, surf the web or read emails
  • Avoid eating, drinking or smoking

In Ontario, it’s been illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using cell phones and other handheld devices since October 2009. Since September 1, 2015, drivers who are caught breaking the law face a minimum fine of $490, plus three demerit points upon conviction.


Focus on the Road: Distracted Driving in Ontario (CAA Quebec) – click here to download in PDF

About the Survey

The Ipsos survey was conducted for CAA SCO in June 2016, among a sample of 801 licensed drivers in Ontario. The credibility interval for this study is +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

More Information

About CAA South Central Ontario

As a leader and advocate for road safety and mobility, CAA South Central Ontario is a not-for-profit auto club which represents the interests of 2 million members. For over a century, CAA has collaborated with communities, police services and governments to help keep drivers and their families safe while travelling on our roads.