According to a new survey completed by Insights West, most drivers say that driving in the province has gotten worse in the last five years – pointing at bad driving behaviours as one of the top contributors to B.C.'s road problems.
Respondents feel that drivers today are more distracted, more aggressive and more impatient, making driving in B.C. more dangerous.
Despite this, the survey also found that 99% of all respondents considered themselves to be good or excellent drivers.
Yet the same respondents:
- incorrectly answered road test questions (over 3/4 of respondents, 78%, got at least one incorrect),
- admitted to being an aggressive driver (1/5 of respondents, 18%),
- said they might not follow road rules to make up time while driving (over 1/3 of respondents, 37%)
- felt that it was OK to 'bend the rules' every once in a while if no other drivers were around (1/3 of respondents, 32%), and
- confessed to driving in an emotional state at least some of the time (99% of all respondents).
"Ultimately, our goal is to reduce the number crashes in B.C.," said Mark Blucher, ICBC's president and CEO. "Not only do crashes impact lives and cause serious damage, they also translate into costs pressures that affect insurance rates for all B.C. drivers. We're asking everyone to help by doing their part through our Drive Smart campaign."
ICBC has seen a marked increase in crashes in the last few years. The number of crashes across B.C. has jumped by 23 per cent in just three years – from 260,000 in 2013 to 320,000 in 2016. That's an average of 875 crashes per day in the province.
"Ninety-six per cent of survey respondents were aware they have a critical role to play in improving the safety of our roads in B.C.," said Mario Canseco, vice president of public affairs at Insights West. "This is a great starting point to open a dialogue with all drivers to take a look at their habits."
To help combat this growing issue, ICBC is launching a new road safety campaign to encourage all drivers to reflect on their driving habits. The campaign will focus on many critical components to being a safe driver: our knowledge of the rules of the road, how we behave behind the wheel, and our attitude toward our responsibility as a driver. The campaign will include media advertisements, partnerships, public outreach and online resources, including an online quiz to help shine a light on areas where drivers may need improvement