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Large proportions of residents in different provinces say they have witnessed illegal or dangerous behaviour on the road.

Vancouver, BC – Many Canadians believe there are worse drivers in their city or town than five years ago, and nine-in-ten have seen drivers foregoing the rules of the road in the past month alone, a new Canada-wide Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, half of Canadians (50%) say drivers in their city or town are worse now than five years ago—including 58% of Albertans and 57% of British Columbians.

The perception of a worsening state of affairs on the road is echoed by the large proportion of residents who say they have witnessed dangerous and illegal behaviour over the past month.

Four-in-five Canadians (78%) saw a driver not signaling before a turn—including 87% in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Three-in-five Canadians (61%) witnessed a car taking up two spaces in a parking lot—including 75% in Alberta.

British Columbians appear to be the undisputed leaders in three dangerous behaviours. While half of Canadians (49%) saw a driver not stopping at an intersection when it was required, the proportion jumps to 61% in BC.

British Columbians are also way ahead of the Canadian average on seeing a car turning right or left from an incorrect lane (58%, compared to 41% in Canada). In addition, almost half of BC residents (48%) say they had a close call (slamming the brakes, or having to steer violently to avoid a crash), compared to 39% across the country.


Three-in-five Canadians (63%) say there are specific groups or people in their city or town who are worse drivers than others. When asked to identify who is responsible for bad driving, they pointed the finger primarily at young and old drivers.


“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.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from January 24 to January 26, 2016, among a representative sample of 1,002 Canadian adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Lord Jim