New Distracted Driving Initiatives Praised by Shop Insurance Canada

April 28, 2016 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
April 28, 2016 Shop Insurance Canada ( is impressed by recent initiatives to combat distracted driving, and says they are steps in the right direction. The auto insurance expert says that a New Zealand based advertising campaign and a recent call to arms in Canada will help raise awareness about one of the major killers on Ontarian roads.

Distracted driving is a major problem in Canada, with the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) saying that fatalities resulting from distracted driving rose by 26 per cent over the last decade. Indeed, accidents caused by drivers looking at cellular devices is the chief cause of injury or death on Canadian roads, and statistics on a global level are similar.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has approached the fight against distracted driving in a novel way, with a public awareness video that puts the emphasis on love. The video shows passengers giving drivers their hand whenever they go to reach for the phone to answer a text, suggesting that the safety of the occupants is more important than the message.

Shop Insurance Canada says the advertising campaign shows that distracted driving is not worth the potential consequence. The clip achieves success without needing to show accidents, a typical tactic for other public awareness campaigns.

The insurance industry expert adds that recent proposals made by TIRF should be looked at closely and possibly adopted. Robyn Robertson, CEO and President of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation says that recent police reports of acts of social shaming are only good for media hype. Instead the foundation proposes looking into the behavior and motivation beyond distracted driving, and positive education is better than shaming.

"The presence of penalties and enforcement of laws will certainly deter at least a portion of drivers from using phones to call or text while driving. However not all drivers will be equally deterred. For this reason, a comprehensive strategy to change driver behavior should also include education and awareness efforts. The key to developing effective educational or awareness messages that change driver behavior is to understand their motivation for engaging in the behavior. This knowledge makes it possible to tailor messages to target the reasons people engage in unsafe practices, and that also encourage the adoption of safer alternative behaviors that are easily achieved. There is no 'one-size-fits-all approach."

"While the use of fear-based appeals with graphic imagery, and shaming strategies often generate media attention, these strategies are less effective, particularly among a younger audience, and should be used cautiously for this reason. Of concern, research shows that individuals that are most likely to engage in the behavior, and are most invested in it, are most likely to ignore or reject messages that convey fear or shame, which increases their risky behavior. This is known as "defensive processing". According to a review of the research by TIRF, educational messages that use positive-messaging, humor, propose a safer alternative behavior, and that enable drivers to connect on a personal level with the situation presented to them, are well-suited to resonate with a larger audience. In addition, the combination of positively-framed messages and enforcement of laws and penalties are a step in the right direction to tackle distracted driving."

It is important that drivers understand the risks of distracted driving, with even hands free kits posing problems when operating a vehicle. Aside from the risk of injury or death to drivers or others, distracted driving can have an impact on insurance costs. Repeat offenders can be punished with higher premiums, while those who cause and accident while distracted may not be fully covered by their policy and will undoubtedly see auto insurance rates increase upon renewal.

About Shop Insurance Canada
Shop Insurance Canada is a Toronto based company that specializes in delivering the best auto insurance products to customers around Ontario and Canada. The online car insurance quoting tool uses an engine that is easy to use and accurate enough to deliver the best auto insurance quotes from over 25 of Canada's leading providers. Shop Insurance Canada also offers expert advice on the auto insurance industry, as well as guides and news to help customers find the best deal possible.

Shop Insurance Canada
1003-60 Bathrust St.
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 2P4
Phone: 416-913-0151

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