Bad behaviour behind the wheel [July-August 2012 Print Edition]

Survey finds Canadians have bad habits

August 31, 2012
by Fleet Management staff

Despite the fact that all Canadian provinces have enacted legislation to restrain the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, a large proportion of Canadians have observed the practice recently, a new Angus Reid public opinion poll has found.
In the online survey of 1,001 Canadian adults, 90 percent of respondents say they have seen a driver talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving.

Support for a national regulation to ban the use of hand-held cell phones while driving has increased by six points since an Angus Reid survey conducted in November 2010. Almost 90 percent of Canadians (89 percent) are in favour of a law that would be applied at the federal level.

Driving habits
More than four-in-five Canadians have witnessed a driver speeding (87 percent) and turning without having signalled first (82 percent) over the course of the past month.

A majority of respondents across the country also report seeing drivers tailgating (77 percent), cutting into another lane without notice (67 percent), multitasking while driving (65 percent) and running red lights (59 percent). Almost half of Canadians say they have seen a driver—or a passenger—littering (46 percent) and a driver turning where a turn is not allowed (45 percent). The least reported bad habit is a driver invading the crosswalk when people are on it (33 percent).

Albertans and British Columbians are ahead of the national average on most of the negative categories, particularly on cutting into another lane without notice, and tailgating. Albertan drivers seem to lead the way in multitasking, running red lights and littering, while British Columbian drivers are apparently more likely than others to turn where they should not and invade the crosswalk. Atlantic Canadians appear to be especially mindful of not littering, while Quebecers rarely see a driver invading the crosswalk.

When facing a bad driver, more than half of Canadians (53 percent) have honked their horn, while 29 percent have cursed at the driver and 20 percent have waved their fist, arms or hands. Only 15 percent have made an obscene gesture, and nine percent have called the police to report the driver.

Most people in Alberta (59 percent), Quebec (56 percent) and Ontario (55 percent) have honked their horn at a bad driver. Albertans, however, are markedly more likely to curse at a bad driver (38 percent), wave their fist, arms or hands (27 percent) and call the police to report the driver (18 percent).

Across the country, 78 percent of respondents say that “none” or “a few” of the drivers in their municipality are bad drivers, while 20 percent claim that “most” or “all” of them are bad drivers. The only areas where at least 25 percent of respondents referred to “most” or “all” drivers as bad are Manitoba and Saskatchewan (27 percent), Alberta (26 percent) and Ontario (25 percent).                   b2b