According to a new study conducted by Ipsos for the South Central Ontario branch of CAA, about one in three Ontarians (32 percent) admit to driving distracted because of their mobile phone use.
But while the stereotype of a distracted driver might be someone who is messaging or using social media, this study found that the number one reason for distraction was still fairly old school — receiving a call.
44 percent of the 801 respondents stated that they were often distracted by someone calling them, while the second highest reason was “Emergency purposes” at 33 percent. Coming in third place was “Have to get in touch with someone I am meeting” at 27 percent.
Other reasons included work, having to talk to a spouse and being bored at a red light, which came in at 11 percent.
“There is no excuse for driving distracted,” said Teresa Di Felice, director of government and community relations at CAA SCO in a release. “Making a phone call or sending a text message isn’t worth putting your life or someone else’s at risk.”
If drivers are having a difficult time adhering to the law against distracted driving, which was put in place in 2009, the non-profit auto club recommends they turn off their mobile devices altogether.
Not only is the practice potentially dangerous, notes the release, but drivers caught distracting themselves with their mobile device face a minimum fine of $490 and three demerit points upon conviction.