One out of three Canadians experience road rage every month
State Farm® Canada survey reveals 46% feel roads would not be safer if speed limits reduced
A recent national State Farm Canada survey asked Canadians to rate their driving strengths and weaknesses.
Full infographic [PDF] (CNW Group/State Farm)
AURORA, ON, July 14, 2015 /CNW/ - Traffic is shaping up as one of the big stories of the summer of 2015. Whether it is the extra time it seems to take to get to the cottage or camping, navigating around construction or the frustrations people feel trying to get around Toronto during the Pam Am Games, traffic is a leading topic at the watercooler. And national statistics show our patience is wearing thin.
According to the latest findings of a national State Farm Canada survey, 33% of Canadians say they are victims of road rage at least once a month. The most common road rage triggers include, tailgating (30%), others driving distracted (22%), and being cut off (22%).
"Increased suburban development and a lack of updated transportation infrastructure have led to increased congestion on Canadian roads," says John Bordignon, Media Relations, State Farm. "More traffic can lead to frustration for drivers, add things like weather, construction and the behaviours of others and one can understand how emotions can quickly escalate into road rage. Being in a disgruntled state of mind can drastically increase the possibility of accidents and decrease safety for yourself and those travelling with and around you."
It's not all bad
Canadians are known globally as a polite and courteous people. Respondents of the survey echo this as nearly half (46%) say they would keep calm and let it slide when faced with the dangerous driving of others. A further 20% would simply honk their horn to alert others of their indiscretion or to vent their frustration.
We also notice the good driving habits of those we share the road with. When asked what good driving habits Canadians notice the most in other drivers, 35% cited being courteous to others followed by using turn signals properly (23%). Nearly two thirds admit to using their horns in situations where other drivers need to be alerted to a danger.
The need for speed
Summer seems to invite a desire to drive faster with 61% of respondents admitting they catch themselves speeding in the warmer months. The survey found that only 14% of Canadians notice other drivers obeying the speed limit, however almost half (46%) believe that decreasing speed limits would not lead to safer roads.
According to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, 800 Canadians die and another 3,000 are injured every year in collisions where speed was the major contributing factor. The Traffic Injury Research Foundation estimates that 20% of collisions occur as a result of speeding, speed increases the risk of being involved in a collision (a 1% increase in speed translates to a 4% greater probability of getting into a crash), and contributes directly to crash severity.
Drivers have their own idea of what they consider excessive speed on city streets and highways, regardless of the legal limit:
Canadian views and actions related to impaired driving have changed somewhat over the years, although drinking and driving continues to be the main concern. The majority (54%) of respondents felt that alcohol is the most common form of impaired driving. This was followed by fatigue (31%).
Despite recent data showing more drivers are being caught under the influence of prescription and recreational drugs this currently only takes up a small place in the minds of Canadians when considering impaired driving. Just 14% feel that prescription and recreational drugs are the most common cause of impairment behind the wheel. In fact, the number of people driving while impaired by drugs other than alcohol has increased. In Ontario it is up 32% over 2014*. Nationally, between 2000 and 2010, drug-related fatalities among 16-19 year old drivers increased by 23.2%**. Alcohol related fatalities decreased slightly.
This is the second of three news releases (spring, summer, fall) State Farm Canada will be distributing in 2015 revealing our survey results and the opinions of Canadians about their driving habits and road safety.
*According to research conducted by the Ontario Provincial Police
**According to research conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF)
About the survey
The online survey, conducted in February, 2015, polled 1,300 respondents of driving age across Canada.
For further information (media inquiries only):
This press release was distributed by State Farm Canada prior to its brand transition to Desjardins Insurance.
About Desjardins Group
Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the fifth largest cooperative financial group in the world, with assets of $276.3 billion. It has been rated one of the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Ranked among the world’s strongest banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has one of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.