The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), with its Drop It And Drive® (DIAD) education program, in partnership with Co-operators, conducted a multi-stage project to reduce distracted driving in Canada.
The Distracted Driving & Workplace Safety Form and the Distracted Driving & Workplace Safety Checklist are two new resources, available in English and French, that provide employers with free, real-world tools to support distracted driving workplace safety policies. The Form engages employees through education, best practices, and prevention strategies to reduce distraction. The accompanying Checklist is an agreement between employer and employee to make road safety a priority at, or after work. These free business tools support employers in their efforts to create safe working environments for their workforce as well as the communities through which they travel.
Following its 5th annual meeting held virtually, Oct. 14-16, 2020, the Canadian Coalition on Distracted Driving (CCDD), led by TIRF and DIAD and in collaboration with The Co-operators, released two new fact sheets, Anatomy of a Road Crash and The Impact of Road Crashes on First Responders & Communities: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder & Critical Incident Stress. These fact sheets are intended to raise awareness about the toll preventable collisions have on first responders, as well as victims and communities, and to share insider knowledge of crash scene management with the public to help keep first responders safe while on the job. Driving is both a responsibility and a privilege and with that, individuals hold the power to reduce their risk. Everyone has the right to get home safe every day; not just physically, but also emotionally.
The Distracted Driving & Workplace Safety Policies: A Business Case for Employers report was released on Sept. 30th and underscores the importance of distracted driving policies in the workplace to protect employees. Preventing distraction-related crashes on the road and in the workplace remains a priority for Canadian employers. The challenges of the past few months necessitated major adjustments to a new normal as businesses focused their attention on the COVID-19 pandemic and establishing new health and safety measures. With provinces now easing restrictions and traffic volumes rapidly returning to normal, the safety of essential workers and others who rely on our roads remains paramount (see below to download).
In Phase 1, an environmental scan involving a broad cross-section of stakeholders was undertaken to gain an understanding of activities to reduce distracted driving that were underway in Canada. The results of the scan were published in a report entitled Distracted Driving in Canada: Making Progress, Taking Action which identified the need for a national action plan to combat the problem. In Phase 2, the CCDD was formed to bring together experienced professionals representing diverse sectors to identify opportunities to address the problem. Since 2016, the CCDD launched the E-hub which contains the latest research, educational programs and tools, current data and legislation in Canada, visual aids, other web-based resources and examples of practice. The CCDD has undertaken four annual meetings in Ottawa, Toronto and Regina with the 5th annual meeting in 2020 scheduled virtually to adhere to public health recommendations.
Other elements of the Action Plan are also underway. Work groups involving insurance, enforcement, the trucking industry and health professionals have been established to increase awareness in these sectors and build partnerships to reduce distracted driving.
Visit the CCDD E-hub to access all available resources, tools and research: https://diad.tirf.ca/ehub/