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Progress in curbing drinking and driving but continued vigilance needed: poll

Ottawa, December 13, 2016 – The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) is pleased to announce a new fact sheet summarizing findings on self-reported drinking and driving in Canada. This fact sheet is based on the Road Safety Monitor (RSM) 2016 poll conducted by TIRF, in partnership with Beer Canada, the Toyota Canada Foundation, and, State Farm®. The results indicate that while progress has been made to curb drinking and driving, continued attention and monitoring is needed to avoid losing ground.

“We are able to use the RSM poll results as an ‘early warning’ system with respondents helping us identify that progress may be lost if we do not remain vigilant,” explains Steve Brown, TIRF Research Associate.

Recent trends in the number of alcohol-related road deaths and the percentage of total road deaths, that are attributed to drinking drivers in Canada (except British Columbia), indicate that progress in reducing drinking and driving has been achieved, at least until 2013, which is the most recent year for which fatality data are available.

“Since 2013, self-reported data on drinking and driving suggest that the proportion of drivers engaging in drinking and driving behaviour is not decreasing,” cautions Ward Vanlaar, COO of TIRF. “It remains to be seen if the decreasing trend in deaths will continue or not.”

In 2016, more than two-thirds (71.0%) of respondents cited drinking and driving as an issue of concern on the public agenda, which was the highest percentage of any societal issues that were presented to the respondents. Based on the results of TIRF’s poll, it appears prudent to consider alcohol-impaired driving a priority road safety issue that requires continued attention.

Brown concludes, “Our poll shows Canadians consistently indicate that drinking and driving is a priority concern to them compared to other issues. TIRF will continue monitoring this issue to ensure we have good data to support effective countermeasures.”

Download Fact Sheet: 

About the Traffic Injury Research Foundation:
The mission of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) is to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries. TIRF is an independent, charitable road safety research institute. Since its inception in 1964, TIRF has become internationally recognized for its accomplishments in identifying the causes of road crashes and developing programs and policies to address them effectively.

About the poll:
These results are based on the RSM, an annual public opinion poll developed and conducted by TIRF. A total of 2,009 Canadians completed the poll in October of 2016. Results can be considered accurate within plus or minus 2.2%, 19 times out of 20. The majority of the questions were answered using a scale from one to six where six indicated high agreement, concern, or support and one indicated low agreement, concern or support. Similar to 2014 and 2015, all of the respondents completed the survey online.

® State Farm and related trademarks and logos are registered trademarks owned by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, used under licence by Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company and certain of its affiliates.

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For more information, please contact:

Administration
613-238-5235 (office)
1-877-238-5235 (toll-free)
613-238-5292 (fax)
jenniferh@tirf.ca