About one in three (32%) drivers in Ontario admit to driving distracted because of their mobile devices, “and the number one reason for not focusing on the road is because someone called,” according to a recent Ipsos survey conducted for CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO).
The survey, released on Monday, was conducted among a sample of 801 licensed drivers in Ontario, CAA SCO said in a press release on Monday. The credibility interval for the study is +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
According to the survey, the top 10 reasons for driving distracted include: someone has called (44%); emergency purposes (33%); having to get in touch with someone they are meeting (27%); someone has texted (26%); have to talk to spouse (21%); have to talk to parents (17%); able to multi-task (15%); use for work (11%); bored at red light (11%) and have to talk to children (9%).
In Ontario, it has been illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using cellphones and other handheld devices since October 2009. Since Sept. 1, 2015, drivers who are caught breaking the law face a minimum fine of $490, plus three demerit points upon conviction.
CAA SCO reported that one in seven deaths on Ontario roads are caused by distracted driving; distracted driving in a factor in about 25% of all car collisions in the province.
“There is no excuse for driving distracted,” said Teresa Di Felice, CAA SCO’s director of government and community relations, in the release. “Making a phone call or sending a text message isn’t worth putting your life or someone else’s at risk.”
CAA SCO is a not-for-profit auto club representing the interests of two million members. As an advocate for road safety and mobility, the organization has collaborated with communities, police services and governments for more than a century to help keep drivers safe.