Texting while driving continuing to increase in Canada: report

Canadians' bad driving practices continue to worsen

woman using phone behind steering wheel

A new fact sheet from The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) reveals that more Canadians are texting while driving.

The fact sheet, titled Road Safety Monitor 2019: Distracted Driving Attitudes and Practices, 2004-2019, summarizes trends related to distracted driving over a 15-year period.

Notably, nearly 1 in 10 Canadian drivers (9.7 percent) reported texting while driving in 2019. For context, this was a 2.2 percent increase over 2018 and a staggering 102 percent increased compared to 2010. Further, talking on a handheld device while driving increased by 2.4 percent increase in 2018, while hands-free device talking decreased 4.5 percent over the same period.

Overall, the data found that age was a significant factor in distracted driving. According to TIRF, for every 10-year increase in age, drivers were 44 percent less likely to text, 38 percent less likely to use a handheld phone and 28 percent less likely to use a hands-free phone while behind the wheel. Additionally, males were found to be 62 percent more likely than females to use a handheld phone and 50 percent more likely to use a hands-free phone.

Nonetheless, Craig Lyon, senior research scientist at TIRF, noted that even “the demographic least likely to engage in texting and driving (i.e., females aged 45 and older) still accounted for an estimated 172,309 drivers on our roads.”

The entire fact sheet can be viewed here.