Canadians believe cell phones render drivers D.U.M.B.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada’s D.U.M.B. Struck program, which stands for Distractions Undermining Motorist Behaviour, is decidedly a hit across Canada.

And a recent Angus Reid poll discloses that the majority of Canadians also believe drivers are too distracted behind the wheel when holding a cell phone to their ear.

A full 88 per cent of Canadians polled by Angus Reid responded they would like to see cell phone usage while driving banned.

But the figures vary from province to province and also demographically. Maritimers are 95 per cent in favour of a ban on chatting on the phone while driving, while residents in Alberta are 88 per cent in favour.

British Columbia and Ontario residents, however, showed the lowest support for a ban, with just 75 per cent in favour.

Women, seniors and middle income earners across the country are most in favour of a ban, while 83 per cent of respondents under the age of 35 supported a ban compared to 92 per cent over the age of 55.

The Angus Reid survey polled about 1,006 adult Canadians from across the country online. The margin of error is 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Meantime, the IBC’s D.U.M.B. Struck automobile simulator is again heavily booked this summer; for much of the time it is doing a Western swing with appearances in British Columbia and Alberta.

The simulator tests driver reactions to such common distractions as cellphones, CDs, iPods, eating and drinking behind the wheel.

The IBC is this year combining its simulator tour with a “Safe Home Now!” program targeting children and a computer game that tests people’s knowledge of insurance.

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