Research Papers

Use of Electronic Communication Devices by Canadian Drivers: Rural and Urban Sites Combined

Filename 5B-Jonah_FP_Distracted-Driving-Survey.pdf
Filesize 488 KB
Version 1
Date added June 16, 2014
Downloaded 9 times/fois
Category 2014 CMRSC XXIV Vancouver
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 5B
Author/Auteur Brian Jonah, Valerie Todd
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation

Slidedeck Presentation

5B Jonah_The Use of Electronic Communication Devices by Canadian Drivers in Urban and Rural Areas


The use of electronic communication devices (ECDs) such as cell phones, smart phones, and tablets by drivers has been found to increase the likelihood of motor vehicle crashes in a number of epidemiological studies. In Canada, the use of ECDs has been measured as part of a national seat belt use survey in the past. In the most recent Canadian surveys, 3.6% of drivers were observed talking on these hand-held devices in rural areas in 2009 and 3.3% were talking on them in urban areas in 2010, yielding a combined urban/rural usage of 3.3%. Given that most Canadian jurisdictions have passed legislation prohibiting the use of hand-held ECDs by drivers, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) was interested in whether there has been a change in the use of these devices by drivers. An observational survey was conducted at 286 urban sites during September 2012 and at 252 rural sites during September 2013. A total of 70,686 drivers of light duty vehicles were observed while they were stopped at a traffic light or a stop sign at urban sites and 33,483 drivers were observed at rural sites at similar intersections, for a total of 104,169 drivers observed. Whether they were using a hand-held ECD was recorded as well as the type of usage (i.e., talking, typing/texting, both), driver age and sex, number of passengers in the vehicle, and type of vehicle. The data were weighted by population and number of vehicles passing through each survey site to obtain estimates of ECD use and the type of use. The results are presented nationally, by jurisdiction, and by various subgroups (i.e., age, sex, type of vehicle, number of passengers). Nationally, an estimated 4.4% (± 0.4) of the drivers used an ECD, varying by jurisdiction from 1.4 to 8.7%. ECD use was more frequent among young drivers.

Brian Jonah, Valerie Todd