Canadian drivers aren’t as polite as we think

A new survey from Kanetix shows we're not as polite behind the wheel as we think we are.

Toronto, Ontario — July 6, 2015 — Canadians are often stereotyped as polite. It turns out that reputation for politeness extends to our behaviour behind the wheel … or so we seem to think.

A recent Kanetix.ca survey found that most Canadians think highly of their driving etiquette, but further survey results show they may be overstating their own level of politeness.

In total, 98 percent of Canadian drivers claimed to exhibit polite behaviour while behind the wheel. The disconnect between how we think we’re behaving and what we actually see on the roads appears when surveyors were questioned on their specific driving habits.

Three quarters of the survey respondents (77 percent) say they always wave when drivers let them merge, but only 9 percent see other drivers doing this. Seventy-eight percent of drivers say they always yield to pedestrians and cyclists, but only 12 percent see others doing this. And while 21 percent always witness drivers failing to signal a turn, only one percent admit to doing this.

Some other notable findings include that 81 percent say they never cut others off on purpose. 86 percent say they never litter out the car window, and 88 per cent of Canadians claim they never double park. Demographically, female drivers, married drivers, those over 45 and those in Quebec and Atlantic Canada are more likely to say they demonstrate these positive behaviours.

Canadian drivers seem to be more impatient with drivers than pedestrians. On one hand, 72 per cent of drivers surveyed say they never honk at pedestrians or cyclists; but on the other hand, a mere 28 per cent claim they never honk at other drivers. And only half of Canadian drivers say they never follow closely if the car ahead is moving too slowly.


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