The Road Safety Monitor (RSM) is a unique, annual public opinion survey, conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), that takes the pulse of the nation on key traffic safety issues and tracks changes in opinions, attitudes and behaviours of Canadians by means of a telephone and on-line survey of a random, representative sample of Canadian drivers. Aggressive driving encompasses behaviours such as running red lights, street racing, excessive speeding, swearing, using the horn when annoyed, and taking risks, just for fun as defined in the TIRF surveys.
Research shows that excessive speeding and aggressive driving increase crash risk and crash severity, and these factors play a significant role in road fatalities. In Canada, 800 people are killed and 3,000 are seriously injured as a result of speed-related crashes. At higher speeds, drivers have less time to identify hazards and react to avoid them. In addition, the ability to manoeuvre the vehicle is reduced and more distance is needed to come to a safe stop. Also, red light running is responsible for more than one-quarter of all road injuries at intersections with traffic lights. Although these surveys show that most people who speed excessively seem to be pretty confident about maintaining control over their vehicle, there is also considerable public concern about these road safety problems. Overall, there is public support for increased enforcement, technological solutions, and higher penalties. While it is challenging to draw definitive conclusions about trends regarding the prevalence of aggressive driving and excessive speeding, it is evident that the issue is significant and requires continued monitoring.
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