April is Distracted Driving Month and, as evidenced by a recent survey of drivers, Albertans have a long way to go to decrease this deadly habit. According to the fourth annual distracted driving report by RATESDOTCA, Albertans are the most distracted drivers in the country, with 90 per cent admitting to engaging in distracted driving behaviours while behind the wheel. As well, the CAA (Canadian Auto Association), says using mobile phones while driving leads to some 1.6 million yearly accidents across the country.
Key findings of the report show that 83 per cent of Canadian drivers engage in at least one distracted driving behaviour, including things like texting on a hand-held device, (23 per cent), making phone calls on a hand-held device (44 per cent), and eating while driving (74 per cent). Albertans admit to these same behaviours--up to 58 per cent of Albertans saying they engage in texting while behind the wheel, a chargeable offence under Alberta's distracted driving laws.
Overall, Alberta accounted for the highest levels of distracted driving (90 per cent) and Quebec was lowest at 73 per cent.
"Auto insurance providers base premiums on an assortment of risk factors including a consumer's driving record. Distracted driving is risky and increases the chance that a driver can get into a fatal accident,” said Tanisha Kishan, a chartered insurance professional. “Getting a distracted driving ticket will therefore lead to higher premiums to cover that risk."
The survey was conducted between March 4 and 6, 2022 and included a sample of 1,633 Canadian respondents.