Canadian Underwriter

Distracted driving sometimes takes a back seat to work priorities, drivers say

July 11, 2022   by Canadian Underwriter Staff

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Canadians object to distracted driving but a lot of them do it anyway, according to a 2022 distracted driving risk survey from Travelers Canada.

A full 77% of those surveyed said distracted driving is ‘very risky and they take every step possible to avoid being distracted.’ And yet, half of respondents admitted to talking on or using a phone for other things while driving.

Twenty per cent of surveyed drivers admitted to having a crash, collision or near miss because they were distracted.

“It is alarming to see a large percentage of people admit to risky driving behaviours, which indicates that more needs to be done to convince people to put their phones away and stay focused while driving,” said Paul Stone, vice president of distribution and sales at Travelers Canada.

Conducted Apr. 4-7, 2022, the survey garnered 1,010 responses from Canadians aged 18-69, and was weighted for age, gender and region.

It found workplace pressure factored into driver distraction.

Twenty-nine per cent of survey respondents said they took work-related phone calls, texts or emails while driving. Of those, 44% cited concerns about workplace emergencies, 30% indicated they felt a need to always be available and 28% were concerned about missing something important.

Just under 20% of respondents with full-time jobs said their employer had an official policy about not taking work calls, emails or texts while driving; 87% said they complied with that policy. The finding suggests corporate unplugged policies can help reduce dangerous driving behaviours, Travelers said.

It also helps when passengers speak up. The survey found 86% who admitted to using a phone while driving said they’d be less likely to do so if someone riding in the car raised concerns.

But just how vocal passengers became depended on who was doing the driving.

While 35% said they’d speak up to a spouse or partner, and 23% to a friend, only 7% expressed comfort raising concerns with a co-worker and a mere 2% would call out their boss.


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