Texting and Driving
AMA survey puts a finger on Albertans’ texting and driving habits
Edmonton – Albertans’ thumbs are getting plenty of exercise these days, according to a June survey commissioned by the Alberta Motor Association (AMA). The survey, conducted by Trend Research, used a random sample of 900 Albertans to probe into behaviours like text messaging while driving.
Among those Albertans who text regularly, only 32 per cent reported texting while they were behind the wheel. Most respondents indicated they rarely type out messages while on the move, with only 4 per cent identifying as regularly reading or sending texts while driving a vehicle in the past week.When asked why they text and drive, nearly half (48 per cent) of distracted drivers indicated they did so because they were stopped in traffic, while 32 per cent claimed to be responding to an urgent message.
While some Albertans see a traffic stop as a safe zone for texting, it’s difficult to safely share the road with other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists when drivers tune out at every red light, train crossing or traffic jam.
Traffic is a living, moving thing, and if you want to be a safe driver there is a lot to pay attention to, even if your vehicle isn’t moving,” says AMA’s Senior Policy Analyst Scott Wilson. “We’re happy that for the most part Albertans seem to understand the danger and are obeying the law. For those drivers who either fail to see the risk or just don’t seem to care, that’s a cause for concern.
While conversations – on the phone or in the vehicle – take you away from the task at hand, some studies have shown that the extra physical and visual distractions of texting increase the chance of a collision by up to 23 times. Those texting drivers who ‘hide’ their phones in their laps only add to the danger by taking their eyes and their minds off the road.
Download the full survey summary below.