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Texting and driving: Survey finds we think other drivers are distracted, but not ourselves

Texting and driving

Texting and drivingSomebody’s got to be wrong here.

A survey by State Farm has found that 93% of Canadians think other drivers are distracted when they get behind the wheel, but just over half think they are distracted.

“This is a striking difference from how drivers view their own abilities behind the wheel compared to those with whom they share the road,” said the study from State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, which was released yesterday.

30% of respondents in the survey, which polled 1300 Canadians, say distracted driving is the most dangerous thing a person can do on the road, ranking it as more dangerous than speeding, running a red light, or not wearing a seatbelt.

35% of respondents said they would characterize themselves as a distracted driver and 56% said they are sometimes distracted. In order to stop being distracted, respondents said it would take stiffer fines, increased insurance costs, or actually getting into an accident.

“We know that distracted driving is a serious problem in Canada,” said State Farm’s John Bordignon. “A 2011 Alberta Transportation study reveals that distracted drivers are three times more likely to be in a crash than attentive drivers. And, distracted driving is more than talking on the cellphone, texting or eating; it includes allowing your attention to wonder to things away from the road. These distractions can have devastating results and are completely avoidable.”

Some provinces are buckling down on drivers who are texting and driving. Late last month, Quebec unveiled penalties that could see a distracted driver’s license demerited by four points.

According to the Canadian Auto Association, Nova Scotia has the harshest texting and driving penalties. Distracted drivers there face four points off their license and fines that escalate to nearly $600 for a third offense. Alberta, meanwhile, has the softest regulations, with a $172 fine and no points demerited.

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About The Author /

Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.
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