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The Road Safety Monitor – Distracted Driving

The Road Safety Monitor (RSM) is a unique, annual public opinion survey that takes the pulse of the nation on key traffic safety issues and tracks changes in behaviours, attitudes, and, opinions of Canadians by means of a telephone and on-line survey of a random, representative sample of Canadian drivers. The increased accessibility and affordability of cell phones has focused attention on the issue of distracted driving in the past decade. Although Canadians most often identify cell phones with distracted driving, research shows that any time spent focused on non-driving related tasks while behind the wheel puts drivers and other road users at risk. In general, available research generally estimates that driver distraction is a factor in 20% – 30% of road crashes.

The Road Safety Monitor 2020: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Travel Behaviour & Road Safety is a summary based upon data from the Road Safety Monitor (RSM) conducted by TIRF, with sponsorship by Beer Canada, Desjardins and Labatt. The results reveal a majority of respondents reported their driving behaviour did not change and a small proportion indicated they were less likely to engage in dangerous driving behaviours. Results also revealed a shift in the preferred method of travel during the pandemic; early findings suggest this may be permanent for some Canadians. While these results are encouraging, it’s also important to acknowledge that a concerning proportion of respondents indicated they were more likely to engage in risky or dangerous driving behaviours during the pandemic, as compared to before COVID-19.

Please see individual RSMs for sponsors

Project Status: Ongoing
Project Updated: November 12, 2020

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