It might be time to pump the brakes, Quebec.
A new report conducted by All-State Canada has released astounding numbers of Quebecers who admit to driving while distracted.
In recent years, car companies have revolutionized the industry with hands-free, built-in multimedia functions so as to limit distracted driving. All of these measures, however, may have taken a back-seat as it’s opened up too many doors for distractions.
GPS, music, phone calls, voice commands, rear-view cameras and dashboard displays are taking over the driver’s seat.
The recent poll surveyed over 1,000 Quebec drivers aged 18 and over and found that 91% of motorists engage in risky behaviour while behind the wheel. Half of the 91% percent admitted to talking on the phone through a hands-free function and only 22% admitted that they recognized they’re driving while distracted.
“We can’t avoid new technology and the changes that come with it; and nor would we want to. Our cars are becoming safer,” says André Parra, Regional Claims Director at Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. “However, what we need to do is ensure it’s being used properly, as opposed to creating more distractions for drivers.”
Other findings of the All-State report demonstrate that:
- 38% of drivers use in-car functions to change music
- 35% use the hands-free multimedia option to text, browse the internet or read emails
- 34% try to reach for objects on the floor, glove box or the back seat
- 25% use their smartphones to make a call, take a picture/video or use social media
- 23% adjust the GPS while driving
All-State Canada urges drivers to avoid phone-use temptation while driving by keeping your phone on silent and out of reach while behind the wheel. The insurance company also recommends getting directions before you start to drive and to pull over if you need map adjustments.
They also say to cue up all entertainment measures before you start driving; have a playlist set and always put the passenger to work if you need in-transit changes.
All-State claims that most importantly, drivers’ main focus is the road and its surroundings. Hand-free devices are meant to facilitate the drive, not take it over.