Feel unsafe on the roads? You’re not alone

Hwy. 401 file photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News.

A new study commissioned by Canadian Automobile Association South Central Ontario suggests fewer drivers feel safe on the road, and almost all have witnessed unsafe driving behaviour.

It said 98 per cent of drivers in Ontario witnessed a vehicle being driven recklessly in the past year, up three percentage points from last year. Meanwhile, the percentage of drivers confident on the road fell by six per cent.

“Ontario police services continue to report significant amounts of speeding, stunt, and aggressive driving,” said CAA SCO Community Relations Consultant Michael Stewart. “The pandemic amplified awareness, but the issue was growing well before that.”

He suggested a return to pre-pandemic levels of traffic may account for the increase in unsafe driving.

The study also revealed that 58 per cent of drivers confess to engaging in dangerous behaviour. Forty-three per cent admitted speeding, 17 per cent said they’ve driven while distracted, eight per cent made unsafe lane changes, and six per cent drove aggressively.

Steward said most behaviours were on higher-speed highways.

“If you do come across a speeding or aggressive driver, the best thing you can do is stay calm,” he said. “Focus on your driving and do not engage with the other driver.”

He also suggested calling 911 when it is safe.