Our Vision & Mission
The vision of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) is to ensure people using roads make it home safely every day by eliminating road deaths, serious injuries and their social costs. TIRF’s mission is to be the knowledge source for safer road users and a world leader in research, program and policy development, evaluation, and knowledge transfer.
TIRF develops and shares the knowledge that saves — preventing injuries and loss of life on the roads, reducing related social, health and insurance costs, and safeguarding productivity. TIRF is the Canadian source for international research related to the human causes and effects of road crashes, providing objective and scientific information to support the development, implementation, and evaluation of road safety programs, effective advocacy, and consultation.
TIRF is Canada’s road safety research institute. It is a world leader in research, program and policy development, evaluation, and knowledge transfer. TIRF focuses on the people that use our roads and behaviours that result in driver error and account for more than 90% of road crashes. Established as a registered charity, TIRF is an independent road safety research institute governed by a Board of Directors representing the public and private sectors in Canada. TIRF is funded by grants and contracts that are earmarked for specific projects and sustaining donations to provide services to public and private sectors.
The TIRF team includes leading research scientists, support staff, and administrative personnel. TIRF also has strategic partnerships with international research agencies that greatly expand its scientific and technical expertise.
TIRF’s educational resources and programs:
|Action2Zero learning centre supports communities with the latest research to help plan, build and implement road safety strategies. Road safety planning at the local level is essential to engage the community, reduce road trauma, and work towards achieving 5-star community status.|
|Brain on Board describes the functioning of active and passive vehicle safety features and explains how driver behaviours play an important role to increase the effectiveness of safety features. This web-based resource includes free posters and PSAs, flashcards and fact sheets about vehicle safety features that are standard on most vehicles, and how they can prevent crashes and injuries when combined with safe driving practices.|
|Drop It And Drive® is an award-winning distracted driving education program for youth, school, and provides workplace safety programs for public and private sectors across Canada and the US. New VIRTUAL & INTERACTIVE workplace safety webinars & youth presentations are now available! Access free tools, research, data and new technologies through a dedicated E-hub.|
|Sober Smart Driving (formerly Change the Conversation) is a free education program sharing knowledge and research to answer common questions about alcohol and impaired driving. It contains facts to help Canadians speak up about the risks associated with drinking and driving and why they choose not to drink and drive.|
|Drug-Impaired Driving Learning Centre is a fully bilingual, web-based free educational resource that contains answers to many common questions. It includes fact sheets describing the size of the drugged driving problem, characteristics of drivers, effects of drugs on driving, legislation and penalties, and, tools and technologies.|
|Wildlife Roadsharing Resource Centre provides free access to downloadable fact sheets, educational flashcards, and practical strategies. It addresses the most common myths and misconceptions to increase awareness of ways to prevent and avoid wildlife-vehicle collisions, including mitigation measures and prevention strategies.|
|GDL Framework Safety Center contains the latest research and a suite of free tools to help states and provinces identify gaps in young driver safety strategies, and implement improvements related to graduated driver licensing, driver education, license testing and in-vehicle monitoring technologies.|
|Young and New Driver Resource Centre shares the latest research about young driver crashes, strategies to prevent them, and the requirements of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) programs as well as Canadian driver education programs. Download free PowerPoint presentations and fact sheets focused on fatigue, distraction, speeding, alcohol and drug impairment, brain development, parental involvement and more.|
|Alcohol Interlock Curriculum for Practitioners is a training tool that enables criminal justice, health and transportation professionals, as well as advocates and community members to educate colleagues about alcohol ignition interlocks. It provides access to instructional and train-the-trainer materials on research, technology, implementation, legal concerns and vendors/service providers, device certification and calibration practices.|
TIRF provides evidence-based knowledge that leads to smarter policies in preventing injuries and loss of life on roads and highways worldwide.
TIRF is your partner in increasing your knowledge capital for safer, more efficient, and trustworthy road safety logistics, technology, and products.
For the Public
TIRF is the centre for road safety knowledge to help you and your family be aware of what you need to do to have peace of mind on the road.
TIRF is an independent, objective, and credible source that provides the science required for effective traffic safety advocacy.
Areas of expertise
TIRF research places a special emphasis on impaired drivers, young drivers, and distraction-related issues which account for a substantial number of road crashes, fatalities and injuries. Its work in these areas has received international acclaim.
TIRF maintains several extensive databases, including the National Database on Persons Fatally Injured in Motor Vehicle Crashes (funded by Desjardins Insurance), and possesses a contemporary specialized library on road safety with access to resources in other jurisdictions.
TIRF’s research has helped to identify the persistent drunk driver and understand their role in alcohol-related fatalities and injuries. TIRF conducted a comprehensive review of the criminal justice system to identify ways that persistent drunk drivers “slip through the cracks” and focused national attention on the need to streamline and simplify the system and provide practitioners with the skills, tools, and resources to address these challenges. TIRF has also examined and evaluated a range of interventions for dealing with impaired drivers, and worked extensively with policymakers and practitioners to develop effective legislation, programs and policies. Notably, TIRF chairs the DWI Working Group which is a prestigious coalition of senior leaders of organizations representing frontline professionals in all segments of the criminal DWI system. During its ten-year tenure, this distinguished consortium has shaped the focus on and development of drunk driving initiatives in the United States with its unique perspective on knowledge transfer of critical research findings, as well as the translation of legislation, policies, and programs into operational practices.
TIRF has been a leader in young driver issues for several decades. It understands the magnitude, characteristics, trends and solutions in this area, and the contributing role of priority factors that play a role in crashes, such as immaturity, inexperience, alcohol, drugs and fatigue. It has developed and evaluated a variety graduated driver licensing (GDL) and driver education standards and programs, and driver competency testing for both passenger vehicles and motorcycles. TIRF has also developed and maintains on its website a Young and Novice Driver Resource Center designed as a one-stop shop for parents, young/novice drivers, researchers, policy makers and practitioners. In 2013, TIRF developed a GDL Framework that integrated priority program features with the best evidence related to driver education, license-testing and in-vehicle technologies to create a continuum of safety for young drivers. In 2017, TIRF launched the GDL Framework Safety Center made possible with support from the National Safety Council and funding provided by NHTSA.
Distracted driving has emerged as one of the most prominent road safety concerns. In recent years, fatalities due to distraction have exceeded deaths due to impaired driving. TIRF has been actively addressing this problem for more than a decade. TIRF co-hosted the first International Conference on Distracted Driving in Canada in partnership with the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) in 2005, and co-hosted a second international conference in 2012. TIRF also partnered with Drop It And Drive® (DIAD) in 2014 (which subsequently became an education program of TIRF in 2017) to conduct an environmental scan of initiatives to reduce distracted driving in Canada. It revealed that sectors are working to strengthen efforts using complementary approaches. Yet, there is a gap in specific mechanisms to facilitate coordination across groups of stakeholders, and efficient exchange information and outcomes at the national level. In 2015, TIRF and DIAD formed the Canadian Coalition on Distracted Driving (CCDD) to develop a National Action Plan for Canada, to help improve communication, coordination, and develop practical tools to assist agencies. The CCDD is the first coalition of its kind in Canada. The multi-sectoral group includes members from various levels of government, enforcement, academia, health, industry and the not-for-profit sector. Their expertise is varied, including road safety education and research, injury prevention and health care, policy, enforcement, as well as the insurance, automotive and trucking industries.
Other areas of expertise include:
- commercial drivers
- drivers of recreational vehicles
- female drivers
- high risk drivers
- senior drivers
- young and novice drivers
- aggressive driving
- alcohol impaired driving
- distracted driving
- drug impaired driving
- fatigued and drowsy driving
- driver licensing
- driver education
- driver improvement
- alcohol interlocks and other safety technologies
- general and specific deterrent strategies
- public education and awareness strategies
About TIRF USA, Inc.
Having conducted research in several countries around the world, TIRF knows first-hand the importance of tailoring research, policies and programs to the specific local context and environment of road users. It equally recognizes that it is essential to have an intimate understanding of cultural and legal factors that shape decision-making and strategies to reduce road crashes.
In 2013, TIRF established a permanent presence in the United States to better meet the needs of the local funders, stakeholders, and partners. As a result, Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) USA, Inc. was founded as a separate and independent 501(c)3 private charity. Visit http://www.tirf.us to learn more.