13 Crucial Texting and Driving Statistics for Canada in 2021

Car accidents continue to take innumerable lives all around the world. While alcohol is the usual suspect and often blamed for most car crashes, there’s another important cause – texting and driving. 

The thing is:

Texting and driving statistics from all over the world leave no doubt. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten so used to our smartphones that we’re unable not to put them aside even when our lives are in danger.

Today, we’ll dig deep into the latest texting and driving statistics for Canada. Even in the Great White North, so often hailed as one of the most orderly countries, this is a significant issue.

Essential Distracted Driving Statistics for Canada (Editor’s Choice) 

  • 21% of all fatal car accidents are caused by using a phone or another electronic device.
  • 27% of all serious car accident injuries are the direct consequence of actions like texting and driving or adjusting navigation. 
  • Young people aged 16 to 24 are the most likely to use electronic devices while driving.
  • Young people are overrepresented in the category of drunk drivers (32% of drunk drivers who were involved in a fatal accident).
  • 47% of all Canadian drivers sometimes use smartphones in traffic.
  • Distracted drivers are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a traffic accident.
  • 33% of Canadians use their phone while waiting for the green light.

General Car Accident Statistics for Canada

1. Each year, around 2000 Canadians are killed in motor vehicle accidents.

(Source: CACP.ca, WHO)

In 2017, there were 1856 car accident deaths in Canada. In 2018, we saw an increase of 3.6%, as 1922 Canadians died in car and other vehicle crashes.

It’s important to note that the sheer number of car accidents and deaths is not necessarily the best indicator of road safety. What matters is the number of motor vehicle accident deaths per 100,000 residents. This is a standard ratio used by most countries, which allows for a quick and simple comparison. 

2. In 2018, Canada had 5.2 deaths related to motor vehicle crashes per 100,000 residents. 

(Source: CACP.ca, WHO)

This was a decrease from 6 deaths in 2013. Japan, with some of the safest roads on the planet, had 4.7 deaths per 100,000 people that year. 

Now:

Global driving statistics show that Canada is among the safest countries when it comes to car accident fatality rate. When we compare the road deaths from 1999 (2632) and 2018 (1922), it’s evident that Canada is getting safer and safer, even though the number of cars on the roads has gone up considerably.

3. The majority of motor vehicle accident deaths happen to 4-wheel motor vehicle drivers and passengers.

(Source: WHO, TC.Canada)

Of the 2077 Canadians who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2013, 66% were in a 4-wheel vehicle, while 8.4% rode a motorcycle or a 3-wheel vehicle. Additionally, 2.5% were cyclists, and 15.7% were pedestrians. Finally, there was no data for 6.7% of those killed in accidents. 

That being said:

We have to emphasize that riding a motorcycle in Canada is not necessarily safer than driving a car. All things being equal, motorcyclists are more likely to be involved in accidents. However, the proportion of motorcyclists among Canadian road fatalities is still quite low.

4. 152,847 Canadians were injured in traffic collisions in 2018.

(Source: WHO, TC.Canada)

Canada has improved its road safety in this respect, too. This becomes obvious when we compare the current situation with that in 1999, at which point there were 218,457 road injuries. 

And that’s not all: 

In 2018, there were 9,494 serious injuries – once again a significant decrease compared to 1999 when 16,187 Canadians were seriously injured in car accidents. 

The total death and injury toll cost around $37 billion annually (about 2% of Canada’s GDP). 

5. Drinking and driving statistics for Canada show that alcohol is still by far the most significant cause for concern for Canada’s road safety.

(Source: CCMTA, Driving.ca)

Young drivers (aged 16-24) account for 32% of drunk drivers involved in fatal car accidents. Around 30% of drunk drivers were going above the limit at the time of a fatal crash. Most of them didn’t wear a seatbelt. 

It’s important to note that the extent of consequences of drunk driving is probably being underestimated, as drunk drivers kill a lot of sober people. 

6. According to the most recent car accident statistics by province, Yukon has the worst fatality ratio by far.

(Source: TC.Canada)

There are 15 road crash fatalities per 100,000 residents in Yukon. Next comes Saskatchewan, with 11 deaths. Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador are also above the national average (5.2), with 9.8, 7.8, and 7.4 motor vehicle fatalities per 100,000 residents, respectively. 

Ontario and Quebec are below the national average, with 4.2 and 4.3

Interestingly enough, the fatality rate in certain provinces doesn’t correlate with the injury rate. For instance, Yukon has the highest fatality rate but a fairly average rate of injuries (444, compared to the national average of 412). 


More Texting and Driving Statistics for Canada

7. 47% of drivers admitted to using a phone while driving a motor vehicle in 2020.

(Source: CAA)

Although the general outlook is promising, the texting and driving stats for Canada show there’s no time to relax.

Data concerning the use of electronic devices on the road is usually referred to as distracted driving stats. The use of any kind of device falls within this category. So it’s not only texting and using a phone, though the latter is, of course, the most important cause of grim distracted driving facts

There are other causes of distraction on the road, such as:

  • Talking to passengers
  • Using navigation devices or the entertainment system (radio)
  • Eating and/or drinking

texting and driving statistics canada

8. Distracted drivers are much more likely to be involved in a car accident – up to 3.6 x times! 

(Source: CAA)

Taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds to read a message while driving at 90 km/h means that you’ll cross the length of a football field without looking. It’s practically the same as driving blindfolded for 5 seconds

According to the CAA, distracted driving in Canada is generally recognized. However, more work is needed to educate the public on all the detrimental consequences of using electronic devices while driving. 

9. Distracted driving causes around one-fifth of all car accident fatalities in Canada, texting and driving facts reveal.

(Source: TC.Canada, MADD)

In 2016, around 21% (close to 400) of all road crashes fatalities were due to distracted driving. Using a phone while driving was also one of the major causes of severe injuries on the road. In fact, 27% of all severe injuries were the direct consequence of distracted driving. 

Compared to impaired driving (driving under the influence of psychoactive substances), texting while driving facts are not as grim. Yet, they are slowly becoming a major cause of Canadian car crash fatalities and injuries. 

Around 1,500 road fatalities are caused by impaired driving, which usually involves alcohol. Other substances, like marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine, etc., can also cause car crashes.

10. Police estimations and statistics on texting and driving show that distracted driving might replace impaired driving as the major cause of death and injuries on the road.

(Source: CACP, Newswire.ca)

According to the initial texting and driving statistics by age, younger residents are more likely to use a phone while driving, with 55% admitting to doing it in the last 7 days. 

In 2011, the population average was 37%, which means that older drivers are generally not inclined to text, talk, or use electronic devices while driving. Older citizens, however, are still more likely to cause a car accident due to the normal cognitive consequences of aging. 

11. 33% of Canadians use a phone while waiting for the green light, texting and driving statistics from Canada reveal. 

(Source: CACP, Newswire.ca)

Moreover, hands-free phone use doesn’t mean you’re safe. A distraction of any kind is dangerous. In 2019, 25% of surveyed Canadians said they text while driving. 

We’ve mentioned that it may be more challenging for the police to enforce the rules against the use of phones on the road. Similarly, it’s a challenge to identify all the cases when distracted driving caused an accident. 

12. According to texting and driving statistics from 2020, Canadians react positively to the increase in fines for using a phone while driving.

(Source: Newswire.ca)

A Desjardins survey from 2020 tells us about how Canadians react to measures used to minimize the use of smartphones and other electronic devices while driving. 

Here’s the deal:

Cell phone statistics for Canada show that the use of electronic devices is on the rise, and there isn’t much the government can do about this. However,  we see that it can at least impose harsh measures for those who use tech devices irresponsibly. 

The drives themselves (41%)  report that getting into an accident would make them reconsider using a cell phone while driving. High fines (26% of drivers) and increasing insurance premiums (21%) also stand out as the biggest reasons not to text while driving. 

And finally:

13. Reducing the number of drivers who use tech devices can only be possible through the joint action of various Canadian institutions. 

(Source: CITT)

Certain institutions, like the Canadian Institute of Traffic and Transportation, deal with logistics and maximizing the efficiency of transport. Reducing the number of accidents linked to distracted driving is one tool in the arsenal of logistics technicians.

But that’s not all:

There are numerous independent initiatives, seminars, and courses aimed at specific age groups (adolescents especially) intended to improve overall awareness of the worrying texting and driving death statistics Canada.


Conclusion

Canadians are working hard to minimize the frequency and consequences of distracted driving. However, we have to point out that distracted driving statistics for Canada are not as systematic, reliable, and detailed as statistics on other causes of traffic accidents, such as impaired driving. 

However, we can still draw conclusions from the basic populational trends. It’s obvious that the government has to find a way to reduce people’s tendency towards using smartphones while operating a vehicle. We estimate that texting and driving statistics for Canada will change slowly over time, without large fluctuations.

FAQ

How many deaths a year are caused by texting and driving in Canada?

Around 400 deaths a year are caused by texting and driving in Canada, facts about texting and driving reveal.

How many accidents are caused by texting and driving in Canada?

Close to 1000 serious car accidents that involve fatal consequences and serious injuries are caused by texting and driving in Canada each year. 

How many people die in car accidents in Canada?

2000 people die in car accidents in Canada each year. 

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