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Eyes Up: Distracted driving still a problem in pandemic, says Desjardins

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— Desjardins Insurance’s road safety survey resulted in the majority of Canadians admitting that they continue to drive distracted, even in 2020. 

Distracted driving is a major concern on Canadian roads, with 60 percent of young drivers between the ages of 16 and 34 admitting to being distracted by a cell phone while driving, according to the results of a recent Desjardins survey. Not only that⁠—the number of people who admit to using a cell phone while driving has increased to 53 percent, compared to only 38 percent in 2018.

Desjardins’ road safety survey was filled out by more than 3,000 Canadians between the ages of 16-74 and shone a light on how it believes Canadians need to take road safety more seriously, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. 

There are many different factors that contribute to distracted driving, the survey found that the top distraction is one’s external environment, with 51 percent admitting to being distracted by passing scenery; while cell phones (48 percent) and changing console settings (43 percent) came in a close second and third place, respectively.

Distracted driving isn’t the only concern when it comes to road safety, impaired driving is also a huge factor. With the survey revealing that ⅓ of the people who admitted to ever driving under the influence of marijuana have done so in the past year.

“We all have a responsibility to keep our roads safe by creating a distraction-free environment, staying sober while driving, and better understanding the benefits – but also the limitations – of vehicle safety technologies,” says Valérie Lavoie, President and Chief Operating Officer, Desjardins General Insurance Group

New vehicle safety technologies will hopefully help put Canadians at ease, with the majority of Canadians trusting these technologies and 32 percent saying they have them in their vehicles, 72 percent still wouldn’t trust self-driving automobiles.

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