The Ontario Ministry of Transportation released Road Safety Attitude and Behaviour research in April 2021.  Survey responses were gathered from a representative sample of 1,400 Ontarians age 16+, including 1,199 surveyed online and 201 surveyed by telephone. Similar surveys were conducted in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017.

Findings include:

  • While distracted driving has increased since 2017, the incidence of impaired driving among Ontario residents, in general, has remained stable, with fewer than 5% reporting driving impaired on a frequent basis.
  • While perceived danger related to a number of activities for vulnerable road users (pedestrians and cyclists) have declined, so has the perception of some of the riskier behaviours, such as walking while sending or reading a text message or walking while listening to headphones.
  • The data suggests that additional education is likely required to help stem the increase in risky driving behaviours – distracted driving among Ontarians in general, and a targeted campaign towards young male drivers regarding impaired driving.
  • Based on data among novice drivers, it also may be worth updating the curriculum to better communicating the danger of certain activities, such as walking while listening to headphones or walking while texting/talking on their phone.
  • Given the extremely differentiated target groups, an omnichannel strategy is recommended, with the following the most appropriate channels based on target group:

               o Television for seniors (could reach 87% of this group);

               o Social media for young male drivers (could reach 62%) plus streamed television (incremental 12%);

               o Cyclists: 68% could be reached via social media and an additional 16% with television;

               o 83% of novice drivers could be reached via social media;

               o Motorcyclists require the greatest number of channels: social media (57% alone), television(incremental 9%), and streamed music (incremental 5%).

Published by: Ontario Ministry of Transportation (Northstar Research Partners)

Publication Date: April 2021

Click here to view: Road Safety Attitudes and Behaviours in Ontario Final Report


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