Drivers Not Signaling Still the Biggest Problem in Canadian Roads

Almost half of Canadians say drivers in their city or town are worse than they were five years ago.

Vancouver, BC [November 20, 2019] – While some progress has been observed since last year, a significant proportion of Canadians continue to have negative experiences with drivers in their municipality, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, three-in-five Canadians (61%) say they witnessed a driver not signaling before a turn in the past month, down 10 points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in 2018.

Almost half of Canadians (47%, -14) saw a car taking up two or more spots in a parking lot, and a smaller proportion (44%, -4) witnessed a driver not stopping at an intersection.

Albertans were more likely to see a car occupying more space than necessary in the past month (61%), while residents of Manitoba and Saskatchewan were more likely to witness drivers zooming through intersections (48%).

Over the past month, more than a third of Canadians also experienced a close call on the road, such as slamming the breaks or having to steer violently to avoid a collision (35%, -7) and saw a car turning right or left from an incorrect lane (34%, -11)

“This year’s survey shows some improvement, as fewer Canadians are reporting regrettable behaviour from drivers on the road,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion of respondents across the country who did not experience any problems increased from 16% in 2018 to 21% this year.”

Almost half of Canadians (47%, -3) say drivers in their city or town are worse than they were five years ago, while 40% believe they are the same and 7% think they are better now.

There are only two provinces where a majority of residents claim that driving behaviour has deteriorated: Alberta (57%, +4) and Ontario (52%, +1). British Columbia had the worst score on this question in 2018 (64%). The number dropped to 48% in 2019.

Once again, a majority of Canadians (56%, -2) state that there are specific groups or people in their city or town who are worse drivers than others. The proportion of Canadians who feel this way is highest in Alberta (65%), British Columbia (59%) and Ontario (also 59%).


Results are based on an online study conducted from November 4 to November 6, 2019, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.