10 Most Risky Driving Behaviours That Scare Canadians

According to the recent Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) annual survey of driving behaviours that Canadians are most wary of, texting while driving took pole position for the third year running. Texting while driving, continues to be the number one road safety concern for Canadians. This is not surprising, given that there have been close to 150,000 convictions in Alberta since the distracted driving legislation was introduced on September 2011.

Check out the other risky driving behaviours that Canadians are most concerned about:

  1. Drinking and driving
  2. Driver running red lights
  3. Speeding in residential streets
  4. Driving aggressively
  5. Sleepy drivers
  6. Driving after using illegal drugs
  7. Talking on cell phone while driving
  8. Driving well over the speed limit
  9. Talking to or engaging with in-car systems

While you probably refrain from the majority of these bad behaviours, you may have a few lapses of judgement, like driving while exhausted for example. Here are some facts which we think would make you reconsider:

  • Drivers are 9 times more likely to crash when reaching for a moving object
  • 25% of fatal collisions in Alberta are due to driving at an unsafe speed
  • Drivers engaged in text messaging on a cell phone are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near-crash event compared to non-distracted drivers
  • Drivers with four to five hours of sleep, have a crash risk 4.3 times higher than normal
  • Drivers are 4 to 5 times more likely to crash when talking on their cell phones
  • Drivers who test positive for the use of opioids are up to 8 times more likely to be involved in a traffic crash

We’ve got some tips to help you get to your destination safely and without incident.

  • Be well rested prior to your trip
  • Stow and secure any loose objects
  • Preset all vehicle instrument panel controls (e.g. program your GPS unit prior to the drive)
  • Avoid speeding and drive to conditions
  • Use journey management and take a break about every 2 hours (avoid sugary and fatty foods and drinks, instead drink water and eat high-protein snacks)
  • Allow at least a three–second space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead. Other drivers may get angry when they are followed too closely
  • Use your horn rarely, if ever
  • Never drive when you are upset or angry. Strong emotions can reduce your ability to think and react quickly
  • Look well ahead and keep both hands on the steering wheel
  • If drinking alcohol, avoid driving and make sure you have a plan to get home safely
  • Beware of medications that can impair your driving ability
  • Use your cellphone only when your vehicle is parked in a safe place

Refresh Your Driving Safety

Practice safe habits always when driving, and if you feel you could use a refresher, consider a driver improvement course.

I am a Fleet Safety Operations Manager with 30 years of experience teaching traffic safety across five provinces, and in four countries. Outside of work, I am an avid traveller, a fervent Flames fan, and a Mustang enthusiast.