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Clocked-out Collisions: Work-related calls, texts leave drivers feeling obligated to answer, Travelers report says

Toronto, Ontario — Travelers Insurance Canada released its first-ever distracted driving risk survey on Monday, revealing that one-in-five drivers admits to having been in a collision because they were distracted—distractions often coming from work-related communications.

This statistic comes despite the response from 77 percent of drivers that say they take “every step possible to avoid being distracted while driving.”

The Travelers report suggests that correspondence with work is a frequent source of distraction for drivers, with 29 percent reporting that they respond to work-related calls, texts or emails while driving.

Perhaps giving some credence to the rising “right to disconnect movement,” respondents cited reasons for taking work calls while driving that include concern that it might be a work emergency (44 percent), feeling the need to always be available (30 percent) and worrying that they will miss something important (28 percent).

Additionally, when asked about expectations within the workplace, 19 percent of employed Canadians say their employer has an official policy about sending or receiving work-related phone calls, texts or emails while driving. When an employer has a policy in place, 87 percent of employees report that they always or usually comply with it.

The report also found that 86 percent of drivers would correct their dangerous behaviour if spoken up to by a passenger, but that the likelihood of the passenger speaking up greatly depends on who is behind the wheel.

It was found that 35 percent of Canadians would speak up to a spouse or partner, 23 percent would speak up to a friend, seven percent would speak up to a coworker, but only two percent would say something to a boss or manager.

“It is alarming to see a large percentage of people admit to risky driving behaviours, which indicates that more needs to be done to convince people to put their phones away and stay focused while driving,” said v-p of distribution and sales for Travelers Canada, Paul Stone.

“It’s time we rethink our actions and accept the vital role we all play in keeping our roads safe.”

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