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Many Canadians say drivers are getting worse: Poll

Last Updated Mar 31, 2016 at 9:33 am PDT


Fifty-seven per cent of British Columbians feel they see many people breaking the rules of the road

BC drivers found to be the worse for not coming to a complete stop at a four-way intersection

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If you think drivers on local roads are getting worse, you’re not alone.

A new poll from Insights West finds many Canadians believe there are worse drivers in their city or town compared to five years ago, and nine-in-10 have seen drivers breaking the rules of the road in the past month alone. Fifty-seven per cent of British Columbians feel that way followed closely by those living in Alberta.

Meantime, more than four-in-five Canadians saw a driver not signaling before a turn and three-in-five have witnessed a car taking up two spaces in a parking lot.

“We see that half of Canadians who say that they believe drivers are getting worse,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President Public Affairs at Insights West. “What is interesting about it is we asked them to look into it specific behaviours that should never happen on the road, and asked them about the incidents that they see people do over the past month.”

Unfortunately, the poll finds we here in BC appear to be the undisputed leaders in three dangerous behaviours. One key example of that is a driver not stopping at an intersection when it’s required.

“There are several issues where BC does terribly badly compared to the rest of Canada,” says Canseco. “There’s one area where we are ahead of the national average, and that is not signalling before turning, which is something that we see quite often on the road. There’s a lot of new drivers who maybe aren’t aware of the rules of the road, or old drivers who forget to do it, or distracted drivers doing something else inside the car.”

British Columbians are also way ahead of the Canadian average of seeing a car turning right or left from the wrong lane (58 per cent, compared to 41 per cent nation-wide). In addition, almost half of drivers in BC say they had a close call like having to slam the brakes or steering violently to avoid a crash, compared to 39 per cent across the country.

“Aside from the expected generational clash, there are two overarching themes to the complaints from Canadians who say some drivers are responsible for the problems on the road,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President Public Affairs at Insights West. “While some keep the focus primarily on country of origin, others are upset with drivers who continue to illegally use their mobile devices while behind the wheel.”

When asked who Canadians blame for bad driving, they primarily pointed the finger to two groups: young and old drivers.