Ottawa, Ontario — January 3, 2017 — Ever sent a text while stopped at a red light? You’re not alone. According to a poll released by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), 33 percent of Canadians admit that they’ve engaged in this behaviour.
It may seem harmless, but CAA says there is evidence that your mind could still be distracted and not on the task of driving for up to 27 seconds after interacting with your phone – much longer than the time it takes to drive through an intersection.
“These numbers are troubling,” says Jeff Walker, Vice President of Public Affairs for CAA National. “The effect of texting at a red light lingers well after the light turns green, making it a dangerous driving habit.”
The same poll shows that about 70 percent of Canadians believe using their phone at a red light is unacceptable.
“It’s socially unacceptable to drive drunk, and that’s where we need to get with texting,” says Walker. “Attitudes are beginning to shift, but our actions need to follow.”
Findings are based on a CAA poll of 2,012 Canadians. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.2%, 19 times out of 20.