2015 Use of Mobile Devices While Driving Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

To provide information on the use of mobile devices while driving by Halton adults aged 18 and over.

Background

The use of a mobile device, such as a cell phone, while driving is considered distracted driving. In Ontario, the number of deaths from distracted driving collisions has doubled since 2000. It is estimated that a distracted driver using a cell phone is four times more likely to crash compared to a focused driver, and two people are injured from a distracted driving collision in Ontario every hour. Suggestions to reduce distracting driving include the use of a hands-free device or to pull over to an appropriate and safe area.

The Ontario government first introduced legislation prohibiting the use of mobile devices when driving on October 26, 2009, through Bill 118: the Countering Distracted Driving and Promoting Green Transportation Act. The Bill states that drivers must either refrain from using these devices while driving or use hands-free mode. Effective September 1, 2015, the Ontario government introduced greater penalties to discourage drivers from using a device while driving. These measures include increased fines, higher demerit points and licence suspensions.

This Health Indicator Report uses data from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS).

Key Findings

Talking on a Hand-Held Wireless Device While Driving

Trends Over Time

  • From 2009 to 2015 the percentage of adults in Halton who reported never talking on a mobile device while driving increased from 36% to 49% and this increase was statistically significant.
  • From 2009 to 2015 the percentage of adults in Halton who reported talking on a mobile device but always using hands-free while driving increased from 10% to 42% and this increase was statistically significant.
  • From 2009 to 2015 the percentage of adults in Halton who reported talking on a mobile device and not always using hands-free while driving decreased from 54% to 9% and this decrease was statistically significant.

Sex

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by sex in the percentage of Halton adults who reported ever talking on a mobile device and not using hands-free while driving.

Age

  • In 2015, Halton adults aged 65+ were less likely than all other age groups to report ever talking on a mobile device and not using hands-free while driving. This difference was statistically significant when comparing adults aged 65+ to adults aged 45-64.

Municipality

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who reported ever talking on a mobile device and not using hands-free while driving.

Income

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton adults who reported ever talking on a mobile device and not using hands-free while driving.

Education

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by education in the percentage of Halton adults who reported ever talking on a mobile device and not using hands-free while driving.

Sending or Reading a Text Message or Email While Driving

Trends Over Time

  • In 2015, 77% of Halton adults reported never sending or reading a text message or email while driving. There were no statistically significant changes from 2009 to 2015.
  • In 2015, 23% of Halton adults reported sending or reading a text message or email while driving. There were no statistically significant changes from 2009 to 2015.

Sex

  • In 2015, Halton males were more likely than females to report ever sending or reading a text message or email while driving and this difference was statistically significant.

Age

  • In 2015, Halton adults aged 65+ were less likely than all other age groups to report ever sending or reading a text message or email while driving and these differences were statistically significant. Adults aged 45-64 were less likely than adults aged 25-44 to report ever sending or reading a text message or email while driving and this difference was statistically significant.

Municipality

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton adults who reported ever sending or reading a text message or email while driving.

Income

  • In 2015, the percentage of Halton adults who reported ever sending or reading a text message or email while driving increased as income increased. This difference was statistically significant when comparing the lowest income group to the highest income group.

Education

  • In 2015, the percentage of Halton adults who reported ever sending or reading a text message or email while driving was higher among those who were post-secondary graduates compared to those who were not post-secondary graduates, and this difference was statistically significant.

References

  1. Ontario Ministry of Transportation. 2016. Distracted Driving. Accessed October 2016 (external link)
  2. Legislative Assembly of Ontario. 2009. Bill 118, Countering Distracted Driving and Promoting Green Transportation Act, 2009. Accessed October 2016 (external link)
  3. Ontario Ministry of Transportation. 2015. Bill 31. Accessed October 2016 (external link)