More than 54 percent of Canadians witness aggressive holiday driving

Aurora, Ontario — December 3, 2013 — A recent study by State Farm and KRC Research has found that Canadians report seeing drivers demonstrate more naughty than nice behaviour during the winter holiday season.

Findings from the online survey indicate that 54 percent of surveyed Canadians witnessed aggressive driving during the winter holidays, with 32 percent of this group seeing aggressive driving most often during Christmas. Comparatively, only 44 percent of Canadians reported seeing aggressive driving during summer holidays.

Regardless of the reasons, Canadians recognize that aggressive driving during the holidays is a reality for themselves as well. The survey revealed that 55 percent of drivers admit they have adverse emotions while behind the wheel during the winter holidays. As well, three in 10 Canadian drivers say they are more likely to engage in aggressive driving during the holiday season.

“These new findings reinforce how important it is to keep safety top of mind when driving every day, but especially during increased travel times like the winter holidays,” says Chris Mullen, Director of Technology Research at State Farm. “Both negative and positive emotions can affect the way drivers behave and it’s vital to focus on the road and practice safe driving behaviours.”

Survey Key Findings

  • Thirty-two percent of younger drivers (ages 18-29), 28 percent of middle-aged drivers (ages 30-49) and parents (30 per cent) were significantly more likely to report being provoked or engage in aggressive driving around the major winter holidays compared to only 9 percent of older drivers (ages 50 and older) and non-parents (15 percent). Over 56 percent of Canadian drivers say adverse emotions have negatively impacted their driving in recent months, with the leading cause to drivers being stress 26 percent and being hurried 26 percent.
  • Over 61 percent Canadian drivers indicate they have experienced some form of aggressive driving six times or more in recent months
  • Fifty-four per cent of Canadian drivers say men are nearly seven times more likely to engage in aggressive driving when compared to women (8 percent).
  • Canadians are most likely to get agitated at situations that make them late or change plans. The top situations likely to make drivers agitated are traffic jams (61 percent), when they are running late (56 percent), road closures or construction (52 percent) and a busy parking lot (35 percent)

What is Considered Naughty Driving? Naughty or aggressive driving can include speeding, running red lights, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic and failing to yield right of way, among other behaviours, according to Transport Canada.

How to be Nice on the Road

Whether drivers are guilty of aggressive driving or have been on the receiving end of it, State Farm encourages drivers to be nicer during the holiday season by taking control when they can:

  • Control your behaviour on the road. Research has shown excessive speed increases the risk of collisions, injury and death, and 29 per cent of crashes at signalized intersections were caused by a driver violating a red light (Traffic Injury Research Foundation).
  • Control your emotions. Recognize it’s not personal and it’s not a race. It’s important to get out of the way of an aggressive driver but also to give drivers the benefit of the doubt.
  • Understand driving conditions before setting out. Plan extra time to get to your destination to account for weather conditions, heavy traffic or parking lot congestion. If available, use public transportation when expecting inclement weather or heavy traffic times.

For more information on State Farm, please visit statefarm.ca.


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