CAA Niagara wants to remind motorists that fewer vehicles on the road does not constitute a licence to speed, as a recently released survey reveals some startling statistics on dangerous driving during COVID-19.
In a recent CAA study, 76% of surveyors in Ontario admit to driving less frequently as provincial restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic encourage residents to stay home. However, more than 53% of those surveyed have noticed an increase in speeding and 34% have seen a spike in aggressive driving in COVID-19 hit.
In a single week, between June 22 and June 29, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Highway Safety Division laid 51 street racing charges and another 26 impaired driving charges in Ontario.
Pre COVID-19, dangerous driving would take place primarily overnight; however, now that roadways are less congested, the OPP notices more dangerous driving incidents occurring mid-day.
“The statistics are alarming,” said Bill Willard, Vice President of Automotive Services for CAA Niagara. “This type of driving is simply unnecessary and puts everyone on the road at risk. It’s important to obey the rules of the road, not only for your own safety but for the safety of others.”
Avoid distractions. It’s essential to keep focused on the road at all times. Make sure you’re comfortable and radio stations are chosen before taking off; place your phone somewhere out of reach; pull into a parking lot if you want to grab a snack; and make sure passengers aren’t too disruptive.
Distance yourself. If you notice a motorist that is speeding, racing, or having trouble staying in one lane, keep your distance and if safe to do so, have your passenger call 911 to report the motorist.
Watch for pedestrians and cyclists. In a contest between a vehicle and a pedestrian or cyclist, the vehicle will always win, which is why sharing the road is vital. Check your blind spots before turning, use your signal and avoid driving in bike lanes.
Obey the speed limit. It’s really that simple.,
The latest CAA findings are based on a poll of 2,824 Canadians carried out from June 5 to 16, 2020. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-1.84%, 19 times out of 20.