65% of Drivers in Ontario Say Distracted Driving Is the Greatest Threat on the Roads, Yet 20% Likely to Check Messages While Driving, RATES.ca Survey Says

Distracted driving is dangerously prevalent on the roads today. According to a recent RATES.ca survey, 65% of drivers in Ontario say distracted driving is the greatest threat on the roads, even more than impaired driving at 35%.

Even though drivers say distracted driving is dangerous, a significant portion of drivers admit to engaging in distracted driving behaviors, with 20% at least somewhat likely to check text messages and 6% likely to compose a text while driving.

“Something as simple as checking messages while driving can seem safe, but it’s really not,” says Daniel Ivans, RATES.ca insurance expert and licensed insurance broker. “Anything that takes a driver’s attention from the road can play a role in a collision and run the risk of a serious injury or even a fatality.”

According to the latest figures from Transport Canada’s National Collision Database, in 2021 distracted driving played a role in 22.5% of fatal collisions and 25.5% of serious injury collisions.

Key survey findings: 

  • 69% considered reaching for objects in the car as distracted driving, yet 41% were at least somewhat likely to do it
  • 47% considered eating or drinking water/coffee while driving to be distracting, yet 64% were at least somewhat likely to do it.
  • 82% considered using geo-navigation to be an act of distracted driving. Meanwhile, 16% were at least somewhat likely to engage in it
  • 79% viewed checking text messages as a danger, while 20% reported themselves as likely to do it
  • 89% viewed composing a text message as a form of distracted driving and 6% were likely to do it

On average, being involved in a distraction-related incident can lead to a 49% increase in car insurance rates, according to RATES.ca auto insurance quoter data, equivalent to an extra $864 per year for full coverage policies. These heightened rates typically last for three years, potentially costing policyholders over $2,500 in additional expenses.

*Survey conducted by RATESDOTCA, polling 930 Ontarians between March 23 and 24, 2024 who used RATESDOTCA’s auto insurance quoter

For those in Ontario looking for a better understanding of the auto insurance rates available to them, you can visit: https://rates.ca/insurance-quotes/auto/ontario

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