A recent survey from CAA says that Canadians are more worried than ever about motorists who text and drive.
The poll said that 83 per cent of Canadians believe that texting and driving is a bigger problem today than it was in 2014, making it the number one road safety concern among Canadians. The poll also found that 96 per cent of respondents believe that drivers who text and drive are a threat to their own personal safety.
Scott Wilson is a Senior Policy Analyst with the Alberta Motor Association and says Albertans need to talk about what to do when they see someone who's texting and driving. Unlike a person impaired by alcohol, it can be tough to identify a distracted driver, let alone report one.
"It may not be that easy to identify someone who's on the phone unless you're right beside them and they're on the phone at that minute," he explained. "Alcohol and drug impairment, you can't stop that impairment. Whereas, with distraction, that individual can then put that phone down and then they're no longer distracted."
In the meantime, Wilson says staying safe around distracted drivers is of utmost importance. Rather than confronting the driver or trying to interfere, he recommends keeping your distance.
"What you might want to do is give that distracted driver a little bit of room," Wilson suggested. "Don't drive too close to them if you don't have to. Don't follow them too closely. Get out of their way. You really do have to drive for the others around you, in addition to your own responsibility and driving by the rules."
AMA ran a similar poll earlier in 2017, that found Albertans were on par with the rest of Canada:
"When we asked Albertans, they said that, compared to three years ago, they felt distracted driving was worse -- 72 per cent said they felt it was worse. A little over half, about 57 per cent, said they thought aggressive driving was worse. Just under half of Albertans said they thought road rage incidents were worse today compared to three years previous."
The CAA poll results can be found here.
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