Not walking the walk: 4 out of 10 Canadians admit to distracted walking
Latest State Farm® survey finds 45% wear headphones while walking, another 70% admit to jaywalking
PR Newswire, Aurora, ON (November 1, 2016)
With clocks set to ‘fall back’ to daylight standard time this weekend Canadians will be getting a much needed extra hour of sleep. Although we’ll be walking up to more sunlight it also means that dusk comes sooner, making the afternoon rush more risky for drivers and pedestrians.
November is known as a very dangerous month for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. It becomes riskier for pedestrians to travel between 4:30 and 7 p.m. as drivers adjust to lower light visibility. And according to the latest national survey from State Farm Canada, it appears pedestrians may not be making it any easier on themselves.
More than 50 per cent of Canadians don’t think it’s more dangerous to cross the road when clocks ‘fall back’ or ‘spring forward’. During the hours and days following the change to standard time (Nov 6), the risk of being struck or killed by a car increases as a result of conditions like poor visibility and sleep deprivation.
“Pedestrian injuries and deaths are preventable and both drivers and pedestrians have a role to play in ensuring safety,” says John Bordignon, Media Relations, State Farm Canada. “Research and experience tells us that roads are more dangerous in the days after the clocks change. Having drivers and pedestrians being patient, focused and obeying the rules of the road are essential in making sure that you and others around you get to your destinations safely.”
As more of us consume content and communicate via our smartphones it may not be surprising to note that 40% of survey respondents admit to texting while walking. When you couple that with 45% using headphones to listen to music and 70% admitting to jaywalking the risks to both pedestrians and motorists increase exponentially.
According to research published by the Globe and Mail, a pedestrian is hit in Toronto every 4 hours and someone dies every 10 days. A total of 163 pedestrians been killed in Toronto since 2011, that’s a 15 per cent increase compared with the previous five years (2007-2011).
In the U.S. the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says nearly 5,000 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 76,000 injured in traffic collisions in 2012. That’s one death every 2 hours and an injury every 7 minutes.
Both drivers and pedestrians can take steps to ensure safety like avoiding distractions behind the wheel and while crossing the street.
Simple things like looking both ways before crossing the street (20% of Canadians admit to not always doing this), making eye contact with drivers before you cross, getting enough sleep, leaving on time to make it to work, school or appointments, and ensuring your headlights and windshield are clean and clear can be the difference between life and death.
This is the third of three news releases State Farm will distribute in 2016 revealing survey results and the opinions of Canadians about their driving habits and road safety.
To find out more about how State Farm works to improve road safety in Canada, please visit www.statefarm.ca/autosafety
About the Survey
The online survey, conducted in March, 2016, polled 3,000 respondents of driving age across Canada.
About State Farm:
In January 2015, State Farm’s Canadian operations were purchased by Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and among the three largest P&C insurance providers in Canada. With its 500 dedicated agents and 1700 employees, the State Farm division provides insurance and financial services products including mutual funds, life insurance, vehicle loans, critical illness, disability, home and auto insurance to customers in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. For more information, visit www.statefarm.ca, join us on Facebook – www.facebook.com/statefarmcanada, or follow us on Twitter – www.twitter.com/statefarmcanada.
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