A majority of Canadians (59 percent) are reporting an increase in dangerous driving while COVID-19 restrictions have been in place, according to a new poll by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) released on June 2.
"These numbers are concerning," says Ian Jack, vice-president of public affairs, CAA National. "It doesn't matter if you are going for a 5-minute trip to the store, or a 30-minute scenic drive, keeping each other safe on and around our roads should always be top of mind."
Speeding drivers top the list, with 44 percent of Canadians saying they saw someone speeding in the last few months. Other top observed behaviours, in order, include aggressive driving, drivers using or talking on their phones behind the wheel, and reckless driving. Going back to at least 2013, speeding has not cracked the top 5 list in polls where CAA asked Canadians to rank unsafe driving behaviours.
"In the last few months, we have seen fewer cars on our roads, and more cyclists and pedestrians, who are most at risk when drivers are speeding and distracted behind the wheel," Jack says.
Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of respondents said they had been driving less since COVID restrictions were put in place, and among Canadians who cycle at all, 30% said they had increased the activity during COVID-19.
The latest CAA findings are based on a poll of 2,824 Canadians carried out from June 5 to 16, 2020. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-1.84%, 19 times out of 20.
— Canadian Automobile Association