Canada a Nation of Distracted Drivers, CAA Finds

Canada a Nation of Distracted Drivers, CAA Finds

OTTAWA – Nearly 8 in 10 Canadian drivers (79%) admit to being distracted while driving, according to a CAA poll released today. And among the most dangerous distractions people name are their own in-vehicle technologies, like a phone, the vehicle console, or voice-activated features.

“Distracted driving is already the largest cause of collisions in Canada, but the reasons behind it are evolving,” said Ian Jack, vice president of public affairs at CAA National. “New technology in vehicles these days can make a ride more convenient, or even safer, but the combination of all that tech together can lead to even more distraction.”

Asked to say what is distracting them these days, Canadians listed in order: eating or drinking, interacting with the vehicle’s console, using voice-activated features, and using their phone.

“It’s impossible to eliminate all distractions,” Jack said. “But to keep yourself and others as safe as possible on the road, CAA urges you to do as much as you can to reduce distractions before you drive. Set the destination, check your safety features, put the phone on do not disturb – these are the kinds of things we can do before we start driving.”

Christine Niemczyk, director, corporate communications & public relations with CAA Saskatchewan added, “As drivers, we are all guilty of multitasking when we’re behind the wheel. We like to drink our coffee, talk with passengers, tend to children, eat a burger or sandwich, find our favourite play list, and check our mobile phones, all while driving. And now with in-vehicle information systems, we have more distractions vying for our attention. These are all kinds of distracted driving – which is anything that takes our eyes and mind off the task of safe driving. It’s important to stay focused, be alert, and keep your eyes on the road.”

CAA launched a campaign today to bring home this message. Called #BeforeYouDrive, it urges drivers to do it all before you drive. The campaign, which features a catchy and fun tune, is playing on social channels across Canada.  The videos are posted on the CAA Saskatchewan YouTube channel for quick viewing.

CAA’s Top 10 safety tips to avoid distracted driving:

  1. Set your playlist, podcast, safety features, whatever you can, before you drive
  2. Set the GPS and review directions before driving
  3. Do not text, use apps, or check social media
  4. Stow and secure loose objects
  5. Avoid eating and drinking while driving
  6. Prepare children with everything they need before driving
  7. Allow plenty of travel time
  8. Do not groom yourself
  9. Always keep two hands on the wheel
  10. Keep your eyes on the road

The latest CAA findings are based on a poll of 2,009 Canadians carried out from November 24 to December 2, 2021. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.19%, 19 times out of 20.


About CAA

CAA is a not-for-profit federation of eight Clubs providing over 6.5 million Members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, Member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its Members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure, and consumer protection. CAA was named Canada’s most trusted brand in 2021 by the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.

For further comment, or to book an interview, please contact:

Kristine D’Arbelles
Senior Director, public affairs
CAA National

Christine Niemczyk
Director, Corporate Communications & Public Relations
CAA Saskatchewan