PMG Takes on Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become one of the most serious road safety concerns both in Canada and elsewhere around the world. It is now among the top four factors – distracted driving, speeding, not wearing a seat belt or helmet, and impaired driving – in terms of the causes of automobile-related fatalities in Ontario.

The 2016 Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Report marked the fourth consecutive year that inattentive drivers were behind the highest number of lives lost on OPP-patrolled roads (Figure 1).

The increasing frequency of distracted driving has resulted in every province in Canada enacting legislation in an effort to prevent and reduce this growing road safety risk. Several jurisdictions have strengthened their distracted driving laws as initial efforts appeared to have been met with limited success.

Governments, insurance providers, road safety enforcement agencies, road safety organizations, and others have designed and delivered education and awareness initiatives. To date, these efforts have primarily focused on publicizing new or enhanced distracted driving legislation with an emphasis on the legal and financial penalties.

PMG will use quantitative and qualitative methodologies as well as its behavioural analysis model to conduct a multi-faceted examination into the topic of distracted driving. The primary goal of this study is to create a comprehensive segmentation analysis that will identify specific subsets of the population that exhibit a heightened level of risk and map specific behavioral triggers that have the greatest influence in changing driver behavior.

Results from the study will be available in May 2019. The second phase of research, to be initiated in September, will involve a comprehensive messaging testing initiative.

For more information, please contact PMG at