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 — 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.


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 — 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 Traffic’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.