Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the largest causes of collisions, injuries, and deaths on Canada’s roads.

It can take many forms, from eating and drinking to trying to program your GPS. The problem is getting bigger – distracted driving contributes to 21% of fatal collisions every year, up from 16% a decade ago (Transport Canada). Staying safe boils down to one thing: stay focused on your driving, and whenever possible deal with distractions before you leave or after you stop.

What do the numbers say?

Distracted driving takes your eyes, and mind, off the road. Here are some statistics on distracted driving:

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A quarter of Canadians say they saw an increase in drivers using their phones while driving in 2020.

– CAA, 2020

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Canadians say that texting while driving is one of the biggest threats to their personal safety on the road.

– CAA, 2018

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47% of Canadians admit that they have typed out or used the voice-memo feature to send a message while driving.

– CAA, 2020

Smartphones have become a big factor in distracted driving, and the problem has evolved beyond texting.

Music, apps, maps, messaging platforms and social media are all frequently used while driving and pose the same threat as calling or texting. While most Canadians recognize the risks of distracted driving, 1 in 6 young Canadians have admitted to driving distracted in the past. Because of this, CAA has a national campaign targeted at youth with a simple message: if you’re driving, put your phone away.

This campaign was funded in part by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile and Pirelli Tyres.

Tips on how to avoid distracted driving

BEFORE you drive

  • Allow plenty of travel time
  • Ensure your Bluetooth is properly connected before departure
  • Set the GPS and review directions before driving
  • Stow and secure loose objects
  • Prepare children with everything they need before driving

WHILE you drive

  • Do not text, use apps, or check social
  • Only answer calls via Bluetooth
  • Don’t groom yourself
  • Keep two hands on the wheel at all times
  • Avoid eating and drinking while driving
  • Keep your eyes on the road


Higher risk of collision

Drivers engaged in the following distractions are more likely to be in a crash or near crash event compared with non-distracted drivers.

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Drivers who drive distracted are more likely to be in a crash or near crash event compared with non-distracted drivers.

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Drivers are up to 4X more likely to get in an accident when talking on a phone while driving.