Desjardins is hoping to curb distracted driving with tweaks to its Ajusto app and by increasing awareness.
In a press release, the company announced that its Ajusto app, which monitors driving habits, scores drivers and provides insurance discounts for those who employ safe driving habits, would now take distractions into account. Since launching in 2015, Ajusto signals when phones distract drivers. It helped increase awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.
Now, Ajusto will factor these distractions into drivers’ scores. The feature launched in Quebec and will roll out to Ontario soon.
Additionally, Desjardins released results of a recent national survey it took. The study revealed that 53 percent of Canadians admit that they’ve driven distracted at least once.
Last year, that number was 38 percent.
However, Canadians are also more aware of the dangers of distracted driving, with 32 percent of respondents saying it’s the riskiest driving behaviour. That’s up from 27 percent in 2018. 35 percent of respondents said alcohol-impaired driving was the riskiest.
Interestingly, the Desjardins survey showed the 93 percent of Canadians think they rarely drive distracted while 84 percent claim they often see others doing it. In other words, Canadians think the problem lies with others on the road.
As for what would stop people from driving distracted, 43 percent of respondents said getting into an accident would deter them. Increased fines were the second biggest deterrent at 26 percent while the possibility of increased insurance premiums (if fined) came in at 21 percent.
Desjardins conducted the survey online in March 2019 and polled 3,050 people across Canada.
Update 09/24/2019: Corrected a typo in the headline.