CAA poll finds in-car technologies a new safety concern for Canadian drivers
OTTAWA – Voice-controlled in-vehicle technologies are emerging as a new threat on the roads for Canadian drivers, CAA research finds.
Drivers talking to or engaging with their in-car systems has cracked the Top Ten in the Canadian Automobile Association’s annual survey of driving behaviours that most alarm Canadians. These in-car systems are relatively new but spreading, and can allow drivers to do everything from dictate text messages to control the temperature via voice commands.
Texting while driving captured the top position for the third year in a row, continuing to surpass drinking and driving as the number one road safety concern for Canadians.
“We’re pleased that drivers are starting to realize that you can be distracted even if your hands are on the wheel and your eyes are on the road,” says Jeff Walker, CAA vice president of public affairs. “We all need to be cautious in using these new in-vehicle technologies, and all of us need to remember that texting and driving is dangerous.”
Here are the Top Ten concerns in order: texting or emailing while driving; drinking and driving; drivers running red lights; speeding on residential streets; driving aggressively; sleepy drivers; driving after using illegal drugs; talking on cell phones while driving; driving well over the speed limit; and talking to or engaging with their in-car systems.
In June, CAA and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released research that found hands-free is not risk-free. In other words, engaging with voice control software that distracts the brain from focusing on the road is distracting, even if physically drivers are doing what they should.
The CAA poll is based on 4,020 Canadians. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20.
CAA is a federation of nine clubs providing almost 6 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.
For further information or to book an interview today, please contact:
Manager, Public Affairs
613-247-0117 ext. 2006