Insurance Hunter: Young parents more likely to drive tired than older counterparts

WINDSOR, July 10, 2012―As we reach the height of summer driving season, Ontario highways are filled with families on road trips and trips to the cottage. But a recent survey reveals a number of Ontario parents who are behind the wheel of their carefully packed car may inadvertently be putting their families at risk. Insurance Hunter’s Neglected Driver Survey reveals Ontario motorists have continued to drive when tired−leading some to nod off, swerve, or worry about getting their family into an accident.

The Neglected Driver Survey, an online study of 1,003 Ontario parents with children under the age of 12 who take family road trips, was hosted on the Angus Reid Forum on behalf of The survey reveals: a significant amount of men (30%) have nodded off behind the wheel (compared to 14% of women); almost one-quarter of men (23%) swerved because they were tired (compared to 11% of women); and almost one-third of men (32%) said they worried about getting their family into an accident because they were tired while driving (compared to 24% of women).

“As soon as families set off on their trip, they seem to forget about the driver,” says Gail Robertson, Public Relations Manager, Insurance Hunter. “Our survey shows the vast majority take the driver’s needs into consideration in the planning and preparation stage but not while driving−the most important stage of a road trip. Although today’s parents put their kids’ needs first, the driver’s needs must become the priority if families are to arrive safely at their destination.”

Ontario men polled have ignored driver fatigue

According to the survey, many male motorists have driven with heavy eyelids even when they knew their attention to the road was waning:

  • 64% of men have continued driving on a road trip when tired

  • 24% of men said they have not paid close attention to the road because they were tired

  • 17% of men said they hoped they wouldn’t get into an accident and kept driving even though they were exhausted

  • 10% of men almost got into an accident because they were tired

Younger parents more likely to continue driving while tired than older counterparts

Tired, younger parents appear to be more willing to continue driving than tired, older parents−particularly if their children aren’t in need of a break. Almost half (47%) of 18-34 year-olds said they would continue driving if they felt fatigued but the kids were happy (compared to 29% of 35-54-year-olds).

Ontario Dads do most of the driving and not keen to disturb kids when tired

In today’s modern family, Mom and Dad share many household and family duties but the Neglected Driver Survey, reveals Dad is at the wheel for most family trips. According to the survey, almost three-quarters of Dads (72%) do all, or most of, the driving on long family road trips. And Dad is not keen to disturb quiet kids−64% of surveyed Dads said they would drink a coffee or eat something and keep on going if they felt tired while driving but the children were quiet or occupied (compared to 58% of Moms), and 34% said they would continue to drive until the children needed a break (compared to 27% of Moms).

“We know people across Ontario are anxious to get to their holiday destinations as quickly as possible, but they have to start prioritizing the driver’s needs,” says Robertson. “Small changes to an individual’s driving routine, such as stopping for driver breaks, switching drivers regularly, and not relying on coffee to keep the driver alert will greatly increase everyone’s safety on the roads this summer.”

Parents are well-prepared for road trips and set out in positive frame of mind

Despite the high incidents of driver fatigue, the survey reveals that Mom and Dad have the best intentions at heart for both the kids and the driver. They are also well-prepared when they set off on their trip:

  • 94% of parents say it is important to pack enough snacks for the kids

  • 91% make sure the driver is well rested and has plenty of planned breaks before setting off

  • 90% plan sufficient and regular stops for the kids

  • 89% stock the car full of entertainment to keep the kids busy

  • 84% say they ensure there is enough food/drink for the driver

  • 75% set off on their road trips at smart travel times: Between 6 a.m. and noon

Drivers also seem to be setting out in a positive frame of mind, with 24% reporting they were happy and 39% indicating they were excited when they left on their most recent road trip. Only 13% set out stressed, 3% set out exhausted, and 2% set out aggravated.

About the Neglected Driver Survey

From June 19th to June 22nd an online survey was conducted among 1,003 randomly selected Canadian adults from Ontario with kids under twelve, who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members.

About Insurance Hunter

Insurance Hunter is a hassle-free, online insurance comparison website which provides comparative quotes for auto, home and travel insurance for residents of Ontario. By offering a simple, convenient, quick way to obtain insurance quotes, coupled with personal follow up from a qualified insurance broker, Insurance Hunter ensures customers get the best insurance coverage at the best rate. For further information, visit



For further information, please contact:

Katherine Clark

Broad Reach Communications

416-480-2552 x4