Press Releases


MONTREAL, OCTOBER 9, 2013 Some students from  Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Léonard joined others from across the country on October 1, camping out at busy intersections  to see if legislation to deter distracted driving is working. 

Students in 10 Canadian cities observed 2,866 distracted drivers in a one hour period, suggesting that many drivers are not taking the dangers of this behaviour seriously. Added to the 1,091 distractions spotted by Allstate Canada Agents in six other cities, a total of 3,957 distracted drivers were logged in just one hour that morning.

Distracted driving laws prohibiting drivers from using electronic devices are in effect in all provinces and territories, with the exception of Nunavut. Alberta stands out as the only province where reading, writing, hygiene and other activities are written into the legislation — broadening it beyond the current ban on electronic devices. Yet the tallies showed that talking on the phone or texting still made up 18 per cent of the distractions noted. owever  today’s student tally is a reminder that texting and the use of cell phones are not the only causes of driver distraction.

 Laurier Macdonald  Vice Principal Joe Schembri,  Albert Varano and Carmine Venditti, both from Allstate briefed students and then sent them into action at the busy intersection of Jean Talon and Viau. A total of 385 infractions were noted.  A presentation to 300 Secondary V students of Laurier Macdonald  will be given by Mr. Varano, Mr. Venditti, and  Officer Daniel Castonguay on Thursday, October 10 ( 9:30 am)  in the school auditorium.

 “Over the past three years, we’ve been working to show teens firsthand the kinds of distracted driving behaviours that are happening on our roads and to raise awareness about the dangers,” says Saskia Matheson, spokesperson for Allstate Canada. 

Distracted driving consists of visual, manual or cognitive distractions (i.e. mind off of the road). The most common distractions are often eating, talking to other passengers or changing the radio station.  According to a recent survey by Allstate Canada and Abacus data, 90 per cent of respondents admitted to driving with some kind of distraction behind the wheel, which increased from 75 per cent in a similar study done by Allstate in 2010. 

“Our research indicates that almost all Canadian drivers (94 per cent) are aware of current distracted driving penalties, but only seven per cent say this would prevent them from driving distracted.” says Matheson. 

Results from driver tally:

  • The most common distractions were eating and drinking (18.5 per cent of all distracted drivers counted), talking to other passengers (17.6 per cent) and smoking (12.8 per cent).
  • Eighteen per cent of all drivers were either talking on the phone or texting while driving.
  • A total of 3,957 distractions were found by students and Allstate employees in Sherwood Park, AB EdmontonToronto, Brampton, Whitby, Thornhill, Mississauga, Niagara Falls; Windsor, ON; Kingston; Peterborough Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton.
  • Complete results from the distracted driving events can be found here:

Since Allstate Canada started holding the distracted driving tallies three years ago, the average number of distractions counted has increased each year. Students and Allstate Canada employees counted an average of 158 distractions per location in 2011, 201 distractions in 2012 and now an average of 247 distractions per location today.
Allstate Canada is working with teens and drivers of all ages to make a commitment to driving without distraction a priority.

Just Drive Canada contest returns
To help develop safe driving habits that will last a lifetime, high school students across the country are being invited to submit a picture, video or audio clip giving distracted drivers a piece of their mind. Students have until November 13, 2013 to submit their entry for a chance to win cash prizes. Winners will be announced January 22, 2014. Just Drive Canada gives Canadian youth a platform to speak out against the dangers of distracted driving. #justdrive

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of Canada’s leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products, and also recently named to Aon Hewitt’s Best Employers in Canada list.



Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213