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Most of us… are concerned about distracted drivers

While most of us are concerned about distracted drivers, those who’ve been guilty of careless behaviour behind the wheel is on the rise.

These findings were published in a recent report conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation that examined Canadian attitudes and practices related to distracted driving while building on data from the Road Safety Monitor’s annual public opinon survey.

Nearly 76 per cent of respondents said they were concerned about distracted driving. But those who admitted to texting and driving behind the wheel had a 56 per cent increase since 2010.

Age plays a significant role in the likelihood of an individual driving distracted. For every 10 year increase in age, drivers were 47 per cent less likely to text and 46 per cent less likely to use a handheld phone. Females were also 33 per cent less likely to use a hands free phone compared to males.

But the report noted the general increase in drivers who text as the most concerning trend.

“For a behaviour that can be considered equally impairing as driving under the influence of alcohol with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08%, this level of self-reported driving is alarmingly high,” it said.

The number of Canadians talking on their phones hands free while driving increased from 21.7 per cent in 2010 to 36.5 per cent in 2018.

Distracted driving in North America is estimated to play a role in 20 – 30 per cent of motor vehicle collisions, the report said.

The results were collected from a total of 1,203 Canadians who completed the poll in 2018.