Travel & Leisure

Think You’re a Good Driver?

We Canadians have some weird driving habits, and we’re not as safe on the road as we think we are

By Lola Augustine Brown

Have you ever flossed your teeth while driving? No? Well, how about eating, drinking, texting, or putting on makeup? According to a survey conducted this summer for the insurance company belairdirect, more than nine in 10 Canadians admit to being guilty of at least one no-no behind the wheel. Almost a third said they’d run a red light (31%) or disobeyed a traffic sign (29%). (To be fair, only 3% admitted to flossing in traffic.)

Leger Research surveyed 1,551 Canadian drivers and discovered that while 95% think they’re good drivers, almost the same number—93%—admit to engaging in at least one risky behaviour while behind the wheel, and that includes the 14% who admit to participating in “romantic activities”—yes, getting frisky while driving.

The point of the survey wasn’t just to find out what sorts of things drivers get up to but to learn what it would take to make them stop doing them. Most drivers (79%) said that they’d consider ditching some of their bad driving habits—especially using or checking their phones—for the right incentive: cash. On the other hand, 9% said they wouldn’t change a thing, even for money.

Those surveyed said they believe driving under the influence is the riskiest behaviour, followed by distracted driving, and then driving while fatigued. The survey results included a number of fun facts, too. Most respondents (96%) said they’d never steal another driver’s parking spot or speed up to stop someone from passing (91%)—we are Canadian, after all—and 54% admit to singing while driving.

Photo: iStock/monkeybusinessimages.