You have to really like a pollster that uses the word “blunder” in describing driving habits in Canada .
Mario Canseco the principal of Research.Co has just released a new national poll conducted at the end of September with 1,000 Canadians. In the poll, people were asked what driving behaviour was like, and whether it was getting better or worse on Canadian roads. Surprisingly the poll found that people “are expressing a higher level of satisfaction with drivers, and there is a decline on the incidence of specific negative behaviours” on Canadian roads.
The survey found that that the number of people that said drivers in their towns were worse than five years ago dropped by 8 percent from the same survey in 2019 to 39 percent. A total of 44 percent of survey takers said the quality of drivers had not changed, while 7 percent “believe they are “better” than five years ago”
Mr. Canseco found that Canadians over 55 had a more negative view of driving ability, with half saying driving was worse now. Surprisingly younger drivers in the 35 to 54 year old cohort and the 18 to 34 year old cohort were more optimistic,with 43 and 20 percent respectively saying drivers were worse today.
Mr. Canseco specifically asked about six driving “blunders” or behaviours including drivers not signalling at a corner, or drivers not stopping at an intersection. Vehicles straddling two parking spots, doing incorrect lane changes, and (real blunders) potentially catastrophic bad driver behaviour requiring veering off the road or stopping abruptly.
Respondents indicated a lower level of blunders in all categories.But could this be due to less driving, and less volume on the road?
Mr. Canseco did note that British Columbia had the “largest proportion of respondents who observed drivers not signalling before a turn~61 percent, and 48 percent witnessing vehicles failing to stop at intersections.
There may be little surprise on which of the two age groups were held most responsible for being bad drivers~More than two-in-five respondents who blamed a specific group for bad driving (43%) mentioned “young”, while 25% wrote “elderly.”
These terms are not broken down to recognize specific age groups, but the historic trend of blaming bad driving on the very young and the very old is still holding true.
Image: VancouverArchives, Research.Co
I had 2 close calls today – one on my bike on Railway in Richmond when a parked (illegally in the bike lane) van (I think an Amazon delivery van) pulled out into the street with no signal and later crossing Expo Blvd on foot when a car turned right without tapping his brakes with no regard the walk signal nor for pedestrians about to start across.
Do I think drivers have gotten better? Not in Vancouver. Everyone is in a hurry. Drivers speed down our side street to avoid traffic on Cambie not caring there might be bikes, people walking, kids playing, and other cars.