While it wouldn't be altogether surprising to learn that residents of any country see a problem with texting while driving, a new poll released last week by the Canadian Automobile Association has revealed that many Canadians believe the problem is actually getting worse. In fact, according to the numbers – which polled more than 2,000 residents back in November and has an error margin of +/-2.19-percent – as many as 83-percent of those polled agreed on the matter. 96-percent of those drivers agreed that drivers who text while on the roadways are a major public safety threat and driving while texting is said to be on par with drunk driving. Studies conducted, of course, provide some backing for that, with some estimates showing that drivers are 23 times more likely to have an accident when they take their focus off of the road in order to text.
The sentiment expressed by the poll results is perhaps most concerning because it is in spite of the fact that Canada has been undertaking serious efforts to combat the problem – with new legislation and public education efforts at the forefront. Beyond that, many service providers, carriers, and manufacturers have also made efforts to combat the problem around the globe. One example of that has been software made available on some devices, such as Google's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, intended automatically prevent distractions while driving. Additionally, there are numerous applications available for Android to stem the use of cellular devices while driving, although one problem with both of those kinds of solutions is that they often require users to be active and aware participants in their use. Despite all of that, Canadians have felt that the problem is worsening since 2011, which is the year in which it first appeared among top concerns for residents of the country.
Unfortunately, the problem isn't likely to go away anytime soon either unless more action is taken directly by manufacturers or carriers. Moreover, with the incoming Internet of Things and a resurgence of focus on interconnectivity, the problem will probably get worse before it gets better. The advent of smartphones is at least partially to blame since users aren't limited to phone calls and text messages but can now also interact through e-mail, browse the web, initiate discussions via social media, and have more options than ever to interact with a variety of in-car entertainment interfaces. It is also possible that the onset of the self-driving car revolution will dampen the effects of device use while behind the wheel but that technology has yet to hit the mainstream and may still be years away. In the meantime, it's important to point out that every smartphone user should take responsibility for the problem and take appropriate steps to avoid driving with distraction.