Canadians Letting Nothing Affect Their Summer Travel Plans

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Road Trip in AlbertaWestern Canadians may want to ensure that their car insurance plan is up to date, as a new poll indicates that the vast majority of them plan on taking a road trip at some point this summer.

According to the survey, which was conducted by Ipsos Reid, more than half of British Columbians say they aren't letting gas prices get in between them and the open road over the next several months. Many of those who plan on heading to another part of the country - or south into the U.S. - say that they have planned for summer vacation for awhile now and the cost of gas won't serve as a deterrent.

Not only are Canadians motorists not dissuaded from travel by the cost of fuel at the pump, but they are also going to great lengths to ensure that their as prepared as possible for their excursion. The poll found that 66 percent of British Columbian motorists will have their car checked out by a mechanic before leaving in order to better establish that their vehicle isn't at risk of breaking down.

As for what they will use to get to their intended destination, a substantial number of Canadians say they are eschewing their foldable maps in favor of their global positioning system. The poll found that about three in 10 travelers will not take their maps with them on this year's road adventure but will instead rely solely on their GPS.

However, motorists for the most part say that having at least two forms of direction is ideal, as 50 percent said they'll use some combination of a printed map along with their GPS device, whether it's mounted on the dashboard or on their smartphone.

Motorists say GPS has led them astray before

Those who use both a map and GPS may be wise to do so, as a recent poll suggests that most drivers have gotten lost at least once after using their GPS. Harris Interactive recently performed a survey commissioned by Michelin, which found that nearly two-thirds of drivers have been misled by their GPS unit, whether by causing them to lose their way entirely or taking them on a circuitous path to a location that could have been reached more quickly.

While maps and GPS are supposed to serve as an easy, go-to source that can be consulted rather quickly, British Columbians are by no means loath to speak to someone along the way if they get lost. Ipsos Reid found that more than nine in 10 said that they had no problem talking to a store manager, clerk or passerby to ask for directions. At the same time, women appear to be more willing to inquire than men. Just four in 10 men "agreed strongly" with the notion that they wouldn't have a problem speaking to someone in the event they were lost.

Something else that most British Columbians are in agreement about is how safe of a driver they are. The poll found that 90 percent of respondents thought they were quite competent on the road and were not likely to get into an accident requiring an auto insurance claim. Drivers weren't as persuaded about the safety of everyone else, however.

Safety experts note that multitasking behind the wheel is a major issue in Canada and responsible for an ever increasing number of accidents. Should travelers lose their way this summer when driving, it's recommended that they pull over and ask someone for assistance. Alternatively, if they have a GPS unit or map handy, consulting these sources from the side of the road or in a parking lot is best, allowing motorists to put more of their focus on the task at hand.