An overwhelming number of Canadians believe themselves to be excellent drivers, yet unsafe behaviours prevail on our roads, so finds a newly released study hosted on the Angus Reid Forum, the Onlia Safety Index.
"This research found some eye-opening gaps between how Canadians feel principally about safe driving versus what their actions indicate," says Alex Kelly, transportation expert and road safety consultant to Onlia. "It was interesting to see, for example, that 88 per cent of drivers would give themselves an A or A+ for their driving skills, yet 80 percent admit to speeding due to an 'inadvertent lead foot'."
Aside from speeding, the most-common self-admitted driving faux pas, according to the Onlia Safety Index study, was road rage (30 percent), followed by not checking blind spots as often as necessary (22 percent).
According to the latest statistics available from Transport Canada, in 2017 there were 1,841 road fatalities, and 9,960 serious injuries necessitating hospital admittance, causing an ongoing physical, emotional and economic burden on Canadians. Yet research shows that the majority of rod traffic injuries and fatalities are preventable.
"Research has shown that over 90 percent of road collisions are a result, at least in part, of human error5, and these findings highlight why it is so important for us to create national awareness and conversations about safe-driving habits," says Kelly. "In tandem with other road safety measures, such as the Vision Zero safe systems approach, improved driver behavior can have a significant impact on increasing road safety for all road users and decreasing the rate of injuries and fatalities as a result of road collisions".
The great news is three quarters of Canadians (75 percent) believe a mindset shift can help change otherwise frustrating commuter traffic experiences. Canadian drivers' have some impactful tools that they can start using immediately to make a difference for everyone on the roads, including the Onlia Sense app, which is available for free to all Canadians.