Distracted driving-related accidents rise dramatically, Aviva Canada claims data shows
In support of National Road Safety Week, Aviva Canada urges Canadians to start “Undistracted Driving”
May 14, 2018 (Toronto, ON) – Despite a significant increase in penalties and fines, Aviva Canada continues to see a trend of increased claims linked to distracted driving*.
Aviva Canada assessed the number of distracted driving-related claims from 2016 to 2018. It found:
- The highest percentage increase was in Alberta, where distracted-driving related accidents jumped 58 per cent;
- The national increase for Canada was 23 per cent;
- Atlantic region saw an increase of 8 per cent;
- Ontario saw an increase of 12 per cent;
- The Greater Toronto Area saw an increase of 18 per cent and;
- Quebec saw an increase of 34 per cent.
Sadly, most of these vehicle accidents are entirely preventable.
“Despite increased penalties and awareness on this issue, too many Canadians are still driving distracted behind the wheel. The majority of these accidents are preventable – such as hitting stationary objects, rear ending other vehicles and inattentive lane changes,” says Phil Gibson, Chief Underwriting Officer at Aviva Canada. “We created the Undistracted Driving campaign because nobody likes to be nagged about their bad behaviour. Instead, we want to encourage all drivers to keep our roads safe, and we have everything we need to start Undistracted Driving today.”
As part of the new campaign, Aviva Canada conducted an experiment involving three Canadian drivers – two Aviva Canada employees and one broker – to see what it would take to start “Undistracted Driving”.
Equipped with cameras in their cars, Aviva Canada asked a mother with young children, a busy working professional, and a millennial not to use any devices in their car for an entire week and filmed what happened next.
“I definitely felt like I was more present and more attentive. I was really able to focus on the task at hand rather than trying to stay connected with everybody,” said one of the participants, business professional Ian Foo.
Said participant Kimmy Coote, a busy mother of two young boys: “Having had this experience, we talked about doing our next road trip without using any technology at all. We think it’s good to detox. It’s good to disconnect and just spend that quality time together as a family.”
See the undistracted driving experiment video here.
Aviva Canada offers these quick tips to encourage Canadians to make roads safer and start Undistracted Driving:
- Prepare your music playlist, podcast, or audio book ahead of time;
- Keep your phone out of reach;
- Enable your phone’s Do Not Disturb While Driving feature;
- Avoid eating while driving;
- Take the time to master your car’s voice commands;
- Keep pets safely secured in the back seat or in a crate;
- Prepare for your drive before you leave.
An overwhelming 95 per cent of Canadians say texting and driving by others makes them feel unsafe on the roads, according to an Aviva Canada public opinion poll of Canadians released last Fall.
Furthermore, 88 per cent of Canadians have witnessed other drivers texting while behind the wheel. Almost 4-in-5 Canadians (78 per cent) said they want to see a technology solution that would stop distracted driving by disabling texting and other functions while the driver is behind the wheel.
Notes to editors:
- *Distracted driving-related accidents are difficult to prove without drivers admitting complete fault. Aviva Canada’s claims data that support the increase in distracted driving-related accidents are what Aviva Canada estimates based on cause of claim. This assessment includes cause of claims frequently linked to distracted driving such as: rear end impact, vehicles changing lanes, improper passing, lost control, collision with fixed object, failure to obey stop sign, failure to obey a traffic light, failure to obey a yield sign, hit and run, parked car struck, and a single vehicle accident. Cause of claims rarely linked to distracted driving were excluded from the assessment such as: theft, vandalism, glass breakage, backing up, left turn, falling object, impact with animal, hail/wind, fire etc.
- Aviva Canada’s claims data is collected from 2016 to year-to-date March 2018.
- A PDF copy of the opinion poll results from Fall 2017 is available.
About Aviva Canada
Aviva Canada is one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in the country, providing home, automobile, leisure/lifestyle and business insurance to 2.8 million customers. A subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, Aviva Canada has more than 4,000 employees focused on creating a bright and sustainable future for our customers and our communities.
Aviva Canada invests in positive change through the Aviva Community Fund, Canada’s longest running online community funding competition. Since its inception in 2009, the Aviva Community Fund has awarded $8.5 million to over 280 charities and community groups nationwide. Aviva Canada, bringing over 300 years of good thinking and insurance solutions to Canadians from coast-to-coast.