Fatigue-Related Fatal Collisions in Canada, 2000-2013 & The Role of Driver Age in Fatally Injured Drivers in Canada, 2000-2013.

TIRF is pleased to announce the release of two new fact sheets, on trends among fatigue-related fatalities and fatally injured drivers by age group, that were prepared in partnership with State Farm®. Data for these fact sheets are derived from TIRF’s National Fatality Database which is jointly funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and State Farm®.

Fatigue is a significant factor in motor vehicle collisions across Canada. Behaviours associated with fatigued driving that can increase crash risk include inconsistent speed, frequent lane changes or weaving, not respecting road signs and other traffic control devices, sudden braking, and speeding. In 2011, TIRF surveyed Canadian motorists and found that 18.5% of respondents admitted that they had fallen asleep or nodded off while driving in the past year. While this new fact sheet shows that there has been a decrease in fatigue-related fatalities since 2000, this decrease has been less pronounced in recent years. The data suggest that fatigue remains a concern today. Furthermore, the data reveal that almost half of fatally injured drivers who were fatigued also tested positive for drugs.

The role of driver age has been investigated in relation to many road safety issues. Studies show that, notably, younger drivers have been subject to considerable scrutiny due to their inexperience managing unexpected events on the road as well as risk-taking behaviour. Drivers aged 16–19 are over-represented in fatal crashes in terms of fatalities per population and number of licensed drivers. Similarly, drivers aged 65 and older are over-represented in crashes, particularly drivers aged 80 and older, partly because they are more fragile (susceptible to injury) than younger drivers and less likely to survive a serious collision. This new fact sheet shows some contributing factors in fatal crashes are more common among one age group than others (e.g. speeding among younger drivers), which indicates public education and information campaigns to reduce these behaviours have to be tailored to a target audience. In order to produce optimal behaviour change, consideration of the age of the target audience may be necessary to determine appropriate strategies and countermeasures.

Collectively, the results from both these fact sheets identify the need for further monitoring in order to effectively inform efforts to reduce crashes.

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Fact Sheets

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