Motorists in Toronto will take longer routes to avoid traffic. And if caught in gridlock, drivers admit to singing, spying and using their mobile phones, according to a survey released today.

It says traffic is a problem for 71 per cent of GTA drivers. Of the people stuck in traffic, 40 per cent estimated that they spend more than one hour a day in gridlock.

So how do motorists pass the time in traffic?

  • According to the survey 56 per cent confess to singing along to music in the car, with 38 per cent saying it would be embarrassing being caught singing.
  • About 51 per cent like to people-watch in traffic. And 15 per cent of motorists admit to being caught by the people-watchers doing something embarrassing.
  • About half of drivers admit to eating and drinking (non-alcoholic drinking, of course) while stuck in traffic.
  • And 34 per cent admitted to multitasking, primarily by using their mobile phones ā€” which they said was okay as long as they were stopped.

The survey was completed by Beat The Traffic, a traffic-solutions company in Oakville, owned by Pelmorex Media, which also owns the Weather Network. The company solicited online responses from 676 motorists with help from Angus Reid Polls.

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About 71 per cent of GTA drivers say that being stuck in traffic on Toronto's congested streets is a big part of their day. (J.P. Moczulski/The Canadian Press)

"Gridlock in Toronto is like the weather ā€” something everyone loves to talk about. With the amount of construction and the number of events taking place this summer, it's become a real pain point for Torontonians," said Mark Thompson, managing director of Beat the Traffic.

"A whopping 80 per cent of survey respondents said that they'd rather keep moving on a longer route than sit idling in city traffic," he said.

Beat the Trafficā€™s tips:

  • Check the real-time traffic information relevant to your route before you leave home.
  • Plan an alternative route in case of unforeseen problems on the road.
  • Try to travel a bit earlier or later than the common commute times.
  • Use a traffic information service for up to date information.