General, Road Safety

Canadians highlight aggressive driving as a top road safety threat, CAA poll finds

December 30, 2021

Other serious concerns include impaired and distracted driving

OTTAWA – Canadians see aggressive driving as a serious threat to their safety on the road, rivalling impaired and distracted driving, according to new polling released today by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).

Empty roads during the pandemic sparked reports of more aggressive driving, but the trend continues to worry Canadians, the poll found, with more than 90 per cent saying forms of aggressive driving, such as drivers running red lights and speeding, are a serious threat to their safety on the road.

“Despite roads starting to fill up again, aggressive driving is still a major concern for Canadians,” said Ian Jack, CAA vice president of public affairs.

More than 90 percent of Canadians also said a leading cause of distraction – people using their phones while driving – is a serious threat to their safety. In the same CAA survey, Canadians admitted to having done at least one distracting activity while driving. Transport Canada’s latest numbers reveal that distracted drivers are at fault in more than 1 in 5 fatal collisions, surpassing impaired driving.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs was also seen as a top threat to Canadians’ safety. But the survey also revealed that the vast majority of Canadians (93 per cent) said it is important to have alternative travel arrangements after consuming alcohol. And 87 per cent of Canadians said it is important to have alternative travel arrangements after consuming cannabis.

“At any time of year, but especially during the holidays, we all want and deserve to get home safe and sound. We urge everyone to make safe decisions – plan ahead and keep your focus on the road,” said Jack.

CAA asked Canadians to report what driving behaviours they see as a serious threat to their safety. The top serious threats of 2021 are:

1. Drivers running red lights (93%)
People driving after drinking alcohol (93%)
People driving after using illegal drugs (93%)
2. People driving aggressively (92%)
People using their phones while driving (92%)
Sleepy drivers (92%)
3. Drivers speeding on residential streets (91%)
4. People driving well over the speed limit (90%)
5. People driving after using cannabis (85%)
6. Drivers speeding on freeways (80%)
7. People engaging with their in-car technologies (67%)
8. People driving after taking prescription drugs (64%)
9. Large trucks (53%)
10. People using in-car speech recognition (like Siri or CarPlay) (33%)

The latest CAA findings are based on a poll of 2,009 Canadians carried out from November 24 to December 2, 2021. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.19%, 19 times out of 20.

About CAA

CAA is a non-profit federation of eight Clubs providing over six million Members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection. CAA was named Canada’s most trusted brand in 2021 by the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.

For further comment, or to book an interview, please contact:
Murielle Pierre
Manager, public affairs
613.298.1201
mpierre@national.caa.ca