Even Millennials themselves admit they’re the most distracted drivers out there, according to the results of a recently released poll commissioned by Allstate Insurance Company of Canada and conducted by market research firm Leger.
According to the survey, 80% of Canadians believe that drivers under 34 years old are the most likely to drive distracted, an opinion echoed by 69% of respondents in that age group.
Interestingly, while younger Canadians own up to this trend, the same survey suggests that their views on what can cause them to lose focus are different from the rest of the population.
For instance, 68% of those under 34 say that eating while driving can divert their attention, in contrast to 76% of all those surveyed. Drinking a beverage ranked with 58% of younger respondents versus 68% overall. Playing with a car’s sound system rated at 59% for under 34s as opposed to 68% of the national average, and looking at distractions at the roadside was viewed as a problem by 67% of younger Canadians versus 77% overall.
There are only two behaviours that are seen almost universally as problematic: grooming at 93%, and using a mobile device at 94%.
Some regional trends surfaced as well. In Ontario, people are more likely to feel that talking on the phone via Bluetooth is distracting (77% versus 69%).
Two-thirds of respondents in New Brunswick (66%) don’t think that talking to other people in the car with them is distracting, as opposed to to the national average of 55%.
In Nova Scotia, 89% say that eating is a key distraction, a number far higher than the 76% national average.
Albertans say that personal stressors such as work or family problems are more distracting than eating while driving (79% versus 76%), and they almost universally agree that using a mobile device while driving is a distraction with a response rate of 98%.
“When faced with tight schedules and temptation from smartphone notifications, drivers may find it hard to resist the urge to grab a quick bite while at the wheel or to sneak a peek at their devices,” says Ryan Michel, president and CEO of Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. “The data shows younger drivers are honest in recognizing the tendencies of their own peer group – but that self-awareness isn’t necessarily leading to changes in risky behaviour.”
Allstate and Young Drivers of Canada have compiled a list of tips to help Canadians of all ages combat distracted driving, which can be found at allstate.ca.