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Frightful Findings: Desjardins shares results of 2022 Road Safety Survey

Toronto, Ontario — The Ontario Provincial Police said in May that 2022 was on track to be the deadliest year on Canadian highways in the past decade, and Desjardins Insurance is ready to share the details of its 2022 Road Safety Survey, just in time for Halloween.

The insurance company’s report shows that distracted driving is still considered to be the top risk to drivers on the road, with 64 percent of respondents reporting it as such, though current data from StatsCan shows that other major risk factors like drug-impaired driving have been steadily on the rise for the past four years.

The survey found that four percent of drivers admit to driving while impaired by alcohol, while two percent admit the same about cannabis.

Regarding alcohol impairment, that percentage spikes among younger drivers, unfortunately, with 11 percent of respondents between the ages of 16 and 24 admitting to getting behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol.

About 57 percent of respondents consider alcohol-impairment to be among the top risks for drivers, followed by aggressive driving (52 percent) and drug-impaired driving (44 percent).

Interestingly, Canadian drivers don’t see cell phones (37 percent) and food (26 percent) as the leading cause for distraction among drivers, but external factors like the weather or other visual roadway distractions, accounting for 53 percent of respondents.

Other risk factors include fatigue; a state that about one in three Canadian drivers admit to having driven in over the past year. Furthermore, 36 percent of those surveyed admitted they have “zoned out” behind the wheel, of which 6 percent said their zone out led to an accident.

Despite being able to accurately identify things that are dangerous to do while driving, Canadian drivers apparently struggle with self-reflection, as only 5 percent of respondents would consider themselves an aggressive driver, while 75 percent see others on the road as being aggressive.

To further set aside our stereotype for politeness, 30 percent of those surveyed admitted they swear while driving and 20 percent honk their horns to show they are upset.

Desjardins president and COO, Valerie Lavoie penned an open letter last week, commenting on the report’s findings.

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