Home Hi-Tech Canadian drivers still text at red lights despite known risks

Canadian drivers still text at red lights despite known risks


A third of Canadian drivers still resort to texting while at the red lights despite known risks pertaining to this driving habit, a new survey has found.

According to a poll of 2,012 Canadian drivers carried out by Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) while nearly three fourths of Canadian drivers believe that use mobile phone while at the red light is unacceptable, there is still a sizeable chunk of drivers who still text while at the red lights – a driving habit that has been deemed dangerous by CAA.

The findings are troubling considering that studies have shown that when drivers use mobile phones behind the wheel even while at the red lights the effect of this use lingers on for quite some time – on an average 27 seconds – and during this time, the drivers could be in a distracted state increasing the possibility of a crash.

“It’s socially unacceptable to drive drunk, and that’s where we need to get with texting,” says Walker. “Attitudes are beginning to shift, but our actions need to follow.”

CAA Statistics on Distracted Driving

The Economics of Distracted Driving

  • Economic losses caused by traffic collision-related health care costs and lost productivity are at least $10 billion annually. That’s about 1% of Canada’s GDP! (Government of Canada)
  • The economic and social consequence of road crashes in Canada is estimated to be $25 billion per year, including direct and indirect cost, as well as pain and suffering. (Traffic Injury Research Foundation)

Texting and Driving

  • Drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near crash event compared with non-distracted drivers. (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 2010)
  • Checking a text for 5 seconds means that at 90 km/h, you’ve travelled the length of a football field blindfolded.
  • About 26% of all car crashes involve phone use, including hands-free phone use. (National Safety Council)
  • Estimates indicate drivers using phones look at, but fail to see, up to 50% of the information in their driving environment. (National Safety Council, 2012)

Distracted Driving

  • 80% of collisions and 65% of near crashes have some form of driver inattention as contributing factors. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2010)
  • Driver distraction is a factor in about 4 million motor vehicle crashes in North America each year.
  • 10% of fatal crashes, 18% of injury crashes, and 16% of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes were distraction-affected crashes. (National Highway Safety Administration, 2015)
  • Distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes. (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2015)
  • Almost half of all people killed in teen (15-19 years old) distraction-affected crashes were teens themselves. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2013)