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Canadians self-proclaimed ‘good drivers,’ but most admit to bad habits: survey

A survey found that most Canadians admit to having bad driving habits. File / Global News

Almost every Canadian behind the wheel is a self-proclaimed “good driver” — but most Canadians also admit to having bad driving habits.

A survey conducted by insurance company Belairdirect through Leger Research found that 95 per cent of Canadian drivers think they’re skilled, but 93 per cent admit to at least one bad habit.

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The bad habits ranged widely from checking cellphones, eating, removing/fixing clothing, and applying makeup. Most notably, 14 per cent of Canadians admitted that they’ve been “romantic or intimate” while driving.

Respondents in the survey described the “riskiest behaviours” as driving under the influence (89 per cent), distracted driving (54 per cent), fatigue (42 per cent).

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Jason Patuano, the insurance company’s director of communications, says the results offer a chance for Canadians to evaluate their driving habits.

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“It’s definitely a bit of a discrepancy between what people believe and the reality,” Patuano told Global News.

He highlighted that the survey offers some good news because it shows Canadians are aware of their bad habits, and 89 per cent are willing to give up their bad habits if insurance companies offer a financial incentive. Among the most willing to change their driving habits were Canadians aged between 18-44, the survey noted.

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While Canadian drivers were open to staying off their phones, they were less enthusiastic about giving up other distractions such as changing between radio stations, turning to face passengers during conversations, and drinking beverages.

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Patuano said Canadian drivers should be more honest when it comes to their driving habits.

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“For people to admit their faults takes a bit of courage,” he noted, explaining that the first step to creating change is awareness and the second is making active decisions.

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Patuano said good driving is “all about focus,” adding that those who feel their skills are not up to par should work to improve them. Driving without following the proper safety rules can have life-long repercussions, he noted.

“Driving is not a right, it’s a privilege.”

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The Belairdirect survey was conducted between July 24 to July 27, 2017, by a representative sample of 1,551 Canadians above 18 years of age. 

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