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Think you’re a good driver? Most Canadians admit to dangerous habits in new report

Click to play video 'Most Canadians admit to dangerous habits: report' Most Canadians admit to dangerous habits: report
A new report found most Canadians admitted to dangerous driving in the past year. Matthew Conrod has details on what else was inside the report from Finder.com – Oct 1, 2020

A new safe-driving report says most Canadians have admitted to dangerous driving in the past year.

And by dangerous driving, we’re talking about motorists who’ve engaged in eating, speeding, driving while tired, and forgetting to signal.

Also considered risky habits behind the wheel: Smoking, texting, using a cellphone, applying makeup, letting the passenger take the wheel, impaired driving, and “microsleeping.”

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The province with the worst amount of offenders? Saskatchewan, followed by Alberta and Manitoba, according to the report.

“When you’re on the road and in a rush, it can be tempting to engage in risky driving behaviour,” said the first sentence of the report compiled by Finder.com.

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“It may be as seemingly harmless as eating your toast on the go or as blatant as running a red light, but either way, it’s dangerous.”

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The report says an estimated 19.1 million adults, or 63 per cent of Canadians, admit to dangerous driving.

That 6-in-10 number, though, appears to be extrapolated from the self-reporting behaviours of 1,200 Canadians, including 1,027 who drive.

Of those who self-reported, Finder said eating while behind the wheel was the No. 1 bad habit, with 49 per cent of respondents admitting to doing so.

The next bad habits were:

  • Speeding: 33 per cent
  • Forgetting to signal: 21 per cent
  • Driving while sleepy: 21 per cent
  • Smoking: 15 per cent
  • Texting: 14 per cent
  • Using cellphone without Bluetooth: 11 per cent
  • Ran a red light: 9 per cent
  • Reaching back to deal with a child: 6 per cent
  • Driving with your knees: 4 per cent
  • Grooming or applying makeup: 4 per cent
  • Sent an email: 3 per cent
  • Drove under the influence of alcohol: 3 per cent
  • Drove wrong way down a one-way street: 3 per cent
  • Done a burnout: 3 per cent
  • Changed clothes: 2 per cent
  • Drove under the influence of drugs: 2 per cent
  • Drove on wrong side of the road: 2 per cent
  • Let a passenger control the wheel: 2 per cent
  • Dinged another vehicle and kept driving: 1 per cent
  • Done a sharp turn: 1 per cent
  • Microslept: 1 per cent
  • Read a book or magazine: 0.5 per cent
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The report also said men are more likely to have dangerous habits when compared to women at 76 per cent to 71 per cent.

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It said “women are more likely to drive and eat (51 per cent compared to 48 per cent of men) and men are significantly more likely to speed (38 per cent compared to 29 per cent of women).

“Men are also far more likely to drive with their knees, with 7 per cent saying they’ve done so compared to just 1per cent of women. Nearly double the percentage of men also reported running a red light (11 per cent compared to 6 per cent).”

The report said women are more likely to text and drive (16 per cent to 12 per cent) and that they engage more in grooming habits (6 per cent to 2 per cent).

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Regarding dangerous drivers by province, following the top three of Saskatchewan (88 per cent), Alberta (81 per cent) and Manitoba (76 per cent) were:

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  • Nova Scotia (73 per cent)
  • Quebec (73 per cent)
  • Ontario (72 per cent)
  • British Columbia (70 per cent)

“Those in Saskatchewan are most likely to eat behind the wheel, drive with their knees, drive under the influence of drugs, drive the wrong way down a one-way street, ding a car without stopping, run a red light, forget to use their signal and microsleep,” said the report.

It added that Albertans are the most likely to speed, talk on the phone without Bluetooth, text, drive on the wrong side of the road and send emails.

The report also said Manitobans topped the list for changing clothes while driving, doing sharp turns and letting passengers take the wheel.

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While British Columbia finished last among listed provinces, it, too, has its fair share of dangerous drivers.

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When it comes to speeding, the report said Alberta drivers came first with 45 per cent self reporting that they break speed limits. In second: B.C. at 39 per cent, just ahead of Manitoba and Saskatchewan at 38 per cent each.

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In an email, Finder.com publisher Scott Birke said it was shocking to see just how many drivers are putting their lives at risk.

“It only takes a split second to make a serious life-changing mistake, yet a huge number of Canadians are snacking and speeding behind the wheel,” said Birke.

“Whether you’re replying to a text message, or reaching into the backseat, taking your eyes off the road for a second can be the difference between life and death.”

Finder.com says it is an independent comparison platform and provides information services for consumers.

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For more about the report, click here.

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