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Most Canadians say using a cell phone while driving is wrong (majority do it anyway), finds RBC Insurance survey

MISSISSAUGA, ON, October 23, 2008 — An RBC Insurance/Ipsos Reid survey suggests that while the nine-in-ten Canadians drivers (86 per cent) do not approve of using a cell phone when driving, almost all drivers (95 per cent) report having seen other people talking on cell phones while on the road. Despite knowing the risks of using a cell phone while driving, many Canadians succumb to temptation: 52 per cent of drivers who have cell phones admit to using them while behind the wheel.

Canadians are also critical about e-mail and texting while driving, with an overwhelming number of drivers (97per cent) saying it is wrong to do either while driving. However, almost half (47 per cent) have seen people checking e-mail or text messages while driving.

"Mobile technologies have dramatically increased our ability to multi-task at home and work and now unfortunately in our cars," said François Boulanger, president and CEO, RBC General Insurance Company. "And it's happening despite clear evidence that most motor vehicle accidents are caused by driver error. Anything that takes away from one's focus on safe driving should be avoided."

As debates continue across the country over the issue of driver distraction and cell phone use while driving, industry associations like the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) have started national campaigns to alert Canadians to the dangers of distracted driving.

"Most Canadians acknowledge that driver distraction is a problem," said Mary Lou O'Reilly, VP, Public Affairs and Marketing for IBC. "Most of us think it's the other guy's problem. We need to change that attitude if we want our roads to be safe."

The survey also found 73 per cent of Canadians have witnessed other drivers eating a meal while driving and 58 per cent of Canadians have personally seen other drivers putting on make-up while driving. Of those surveyed, 19 per cent acknowledged they continued driving even when extremely tired.

These are the findings of an RBC Insurance/Ipsos Reid survey conducted between March 27 and April 10, 2008. The poll was based on a randomly selected sample of 2,251 adult Canadians, who were interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±2.19 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. The data was statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the census data.

About RBC Insurance
RBC Insurance provides a wide range of, life, health, travel, home, auto, business and reinsurance products, as well as creditor insurance services to more than five million North American customers. Its fast growing home and auto insurance business offers Canadians a comprehensive range of personal home and auto insurance products through direct sales channels, including over the phone, the Internet, retail insurance branches, as well as through group insurance plans. RBC Insurance also offers a premier claims service, available 24/7, to help clients when they need it most. For more information, please visit www.rbcinsurance.com.

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Media Contacts
Kerry Gaetano, (905) 816-5583, kerry.gaetano@rbc.com
Margie McNeil, (905) 606-1425, margie.mcneil@rbc.com


 



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10/23/2008 23:26:31