Drivers only associate cellphones with distracted driving

A new poll is indicating Canadians tend to associate a certain type of behaviour with distracted driving.

According to the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, when respondents were asked what they associated with distracted driving, more than 72 per cent of respondents said they first thought of people who use cell phones at the wheel.

Robyn Robertson, lead researcher and president at TIRF, said this poses a problem, as it may suggest drivers don't find other behaviours risky.


"Distraction is a diversion of the driver's attention from the driving task," said Robertson. "This issue is much broader than just cell phones and includes distractions inside the vehicle such as eating, drinking, smoking, as well as distractions outside the vehicle such as looking at billboards, other drivers and scenery along the road."

Less common responses to what drivers considered distractions included drinking, passengers, other drivers on the road and changing the radio station.

In a majority of provinces, drivers are banned from using handheld cellphones. Officials are hopeful the law will result in fewer accidents. 

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