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Distracted Driving

In 2009, Ontario introduced a ban on the use of hand-held devices while driving. According to current collision trends from the Ministry of Transportation, fatalities related to distracted driving are forecasted to exceed those from drinking and driving by 2016. 

To help inform strategies to address this serious issue, PHO conducted a study that examined the motives of texting while driving (TWD) behaviour among 2,000 Ontario youth and young adults ages 16 to 24. Our research for Texting While Driving Behaviour among Ontario Youth and Young Adults found, among other things, that:  

  • Over 90% of Ontarians aged 16 – 24 are aware of Ontario’s law banning texting while driving.
    Yet 55% reported reading texts and 44% reported sending texts while driving.
  • 57% think that sending a text while driving is an extremely dangerous behaviour, while only 31% think that reading one is.
  • The greatest percentage reported they would feel guilty if they read/sent texts while driving; they think reading/sending texts while driving is wrong; and reading/sending texts while driving is against their principles. Yet many still reported texting while driving.
  • Why do Ontarians aged 16 – 24 read or send texts while driving?
    • Making plans or getting directions
    • Their perception that the message is important, urgent or an emergency 

Also, be sure to check out our Evidence Brief: Predictors and risk factors of texting and driving among youth.

View graphics                   
Our Plan Key Documents
View factsheet View media release

PHO’s Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention team provides expertise to Ontario’s public health sector on a broad range of health promotion topics. Find out more about our services by contacting us at

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Page updated on [date/time] 13/11/2015 9:35 AM
© , Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion