As bad of a phenomenon as texting and driving has proven to be, we may not have even reached rock bottom with it. At least, that's how Canadians feel, according to a new poll conducted by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).
CAA's survey found that, despite an uptick in anti-texting and driving rhetoric and campaigns, 83 per cent of Canadians believe that such behaviour is more prevalent today than it was three years ago.
"Canadians still don't seem to be getting the message," said Jeff Walker, Chief Strategy Officer, CAA National.
Somehow this is our reality; even with a near-unanimous consensus that texting and driving is hugely problematic, as evidenced by the poll's finding that 96 per cent of Canadians say that drivers who do it are a threat to their personal safety on the road.
Data backs this up.
"Studies show drivers are as much as 23 times more likely to get into a collision when they text and drive," said Walker. "It's important we all put our devices down and stay focused on the road."
In order to bridge this disconnect between attitudes and actions, some Canadians have taken matters into their own hands. Earlier this year, Smart Coverage highlighted Montrealer Patrick Dubois, who developed a device called RoadBudee that prevents drivers from starting their cars unless their cell phone is plugged into it. Dubois was inspired to act by an incident in which his nine-months pregnant girlfriend was hit by a careless driver who was texting at the wheel. Thankfully it resulted in no serious damage to either her or the baby, but it served as a wake-up call for Dubois to address this all-too prevalent problem.
Hopefully efforts like his can bring about a more positive polling response when CAA does this survey again next year.