Canadians would be willing to engage in some seriously dangerous behaviour while at the wheel of semi-autonomous vehicles, according to a new survey released Sept. 29.
The Traffic Injury Research Foundation in partnership with the Toyota Canada Foundation found some Canadians would nap, text, work and even drink and drive behind the wheel of a semi-autonomous vehicle.
In a statement, TIRF CEO Robyn Robertson called the results startling.
“These findings underscored that drivers are not aware of their continued role in the safety equation as these vehicles become available,” Robertson said.
“Such misperceptions have real potential to negatively affect driver behaviour and result in either unintentional misuse or abuse of technologies that are able to assist drivers, but not replace them.”
Specifically, the survey found:
Almost 25 per cent of drivers would drive tired or fatigued;
17 per cent would engage in a non-driving activity such as texting, reading or working more than they do now; 10 per cent would be more willing to sleep behind the wheel; nine per cent said they would drink and drive.
Expectations are high that even semi-autonomous vehicles will dramatically reduce road crashes and produce a range of other benefits, TIRF said.