Results of study show 39% of people are actively distracted while driving

Coming off the news of the increased number of deaths caused by distracted driving, Allstate took to the street to see how many Canadians are distracted on the road, from a mobile device or something else.

The “Just Drive” campaign tallied 11,801 drivers in the morning rush hour across 11 cities — Toronto, Mississauga, Thornhill, Sault Ste. Marie, Montreal, Brockville, Edmonton, Calgary, Moncton, Kingston and Timmins. According to the findings, 39% of people were actively engaged in a distracting activity while driving. Toronto had the lowest number of distracted drives at 15%, while Edmonton had the highest at 88%.

Here’s the breakdown of different types of distractions in play, which includes talking on the phone, texting, and the use of other electronic devices, as well as the cities in which they occurred:

• Talking on the phone: 3%
• Texting: 3%
• Talking to a passenger: 7%
• Using electronic device (GPS, video gaming system, adjusting dials): 1%
• Smoking: 5%
• Eating/drinking: 8%
• Searching for an object in the car: 2%
• Other: 5%
• Multiple (more than one distraction): 2%

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Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne recently said that the current distracted driving laws are “worrisome” because “when young people start to have a habit of driving and texting, that’s harder to break… These machines are so ubiquitous in their lives that they just have them with them all the time, and so we need to break that cycle.”

Wynne is proposing a stiffer fine that could see a distracted driver pay $1000 per infraction.