Awareness is Most Powerful Distracted Driving Deterrent, Poll Finds

TORONTO, Jan. 31, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A recent online poll conducted by Allstate Insurance Company of Canada found that the majority (78 per cent) of respondents said they don't drive distracted because of increased awareness of the dangers.

While 94 per cent of respondents are aware they could receive a ticket for distracted driving, only 7 per cent of respondents said this punishment deters them from driving distracted. Personal safety, it seems, ranks much higher than the threat of a monetary penalty. Some 89 per cent of high school students (aged 13 to 17) specifically said that they would also voice concern as a passenger in a vehicle where a driver was driving distracted.

This awareness of the danger of distracted driving was reflected in the entries received for the national bilingual Just Drive Canada contest, where high school students were invited to upload video, audio or an image of their solution to distracted driving (during the six-week entry period, Sept. 20-Nov. 2, 2012).

"Many of the students' solutions to distracted driving featured a simple message: just don't do it," says Saskia Matheson, spokesperson for Allstate Canada. "We hope that they put this idea into practice. Some students took the idea even further with in-car reminders like decals and gadgets, including a thumb cover that inhibits texting while reminding the driver to focus on driving."

The Just Drive Canada contest generated 142 entries from 37 schools and 53,000 public votes for favourites (during the six-week voting period, November 2-December 14, 2012). Today, Allstate Canada is pleased to announce the winners of the Just Drive Canada contest:

Tie for First place
Wallise Wu from Glenforest Secondary School
Mississauga, ON
$1500 prize plus $1000 to the school

Matt Girard, Gabrielle Semail and Stephanie Clarke from Belmont Secondary School
Victoria, BC
$1500 prize plus $1000 to the school

First place
Jonathan Dumas, Maxime Haché, Scott Cowan, and Nathan Chiasson-Jones from École Marie-Esther
Shippagan, NB
$1000 prize plus $500 to the school

Jordan Ladell, Zach Valeri and David Martens from Kingsville District High School
Kingsville, ON
$500 prize plus $250 to the school

First place
Angel Carberry from John Paul II Catholic Secondary School [download image here]
London, ON
$500 prize plus $250 to the school

Tayner Murdock from Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School [download image here]
Hamilton, ON
$250 prize plus $150 to the school

In order to help students share their message, schools were also encouraged to get involved. Judges evaluated the combination of number of entries and votes that came in from each school, as well as quality of submissions to determine the most engaged school as the Just Drive Canada School Spirit Prize recipient. The recipient of the school spirit prize is

School Spirit Prize
John Paul II Catholic Secondary School
London, ON
$2500 to the most engaged school

Judging occurred in two stages including online public voting from November 2 to December 14, 2012, followed by review from a panel of judges including Phoebe Dykstra, MuchMusic VJ; Scott Marshall, Director of Training for Young Drivers of Canada; Constable Helen Pappas, RCMP; Kevin McConkey, Director, Claims at Allstate Canada; Martha Binks, Director, Legal Services at Allstate Canada; Blake Reichert, Director, Business Development at Allstate Canada; Carmine Venditti, Agency Manager at Allstate Canada; and Yvan Gelinas, Linguistics Services Manager at Allstate Canada.

"We hope that distracted driving will soon be viewed in the same light as driving without a seatbelt," says Scott Marshall, Young Drivers of Canada Instructor and contest judge. "We need to keep reinforcing the dangers of distracted driving and hope that we see a change in opinions as well as behaviours."
Car collisions are the number one cause of death among Canadian teens and recent figures show that distracted driving is a factor in anywhere from 20 to 80 per cent of collisions.

Additional information about the contest including rules and regulations can be found at and More information about the contest judges can be found here. Winning entries can be seen at Any image can be downloaded by right clicking and saving to a desktop.

Allstate Canada is also urging teens and parents to talk about distracted driving and offers an Action Against Distraction teen-parent contract and Action Against Distraction online pledge at to make a promise not to drive distracted.

Jennifer Fox
Thornley Fallis Communications
Telephone: 416-515-7517 ext 350
Mobile: 416-473-9565

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canadais one of the country's leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products, serving Canadians since 1953. The company strives to keep its customers in "Good Hands®" as well as its employees, and has recently been listed on the "Best Employers in Canada" list. Allstate Canadais committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), United Wayand Junior Achievement. In 2010, Allstate Canada, in partnership with the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), created the Allstate All-Canadians program, a mentorship program designed to create future community leaders through the sport of hockey. Learn more about this program at To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit and

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Source:Allstate Insurance CompanyofCanada