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. Pedestrians and bicyclists are among the most vulnerable road users. In collisions with other road users they suffer the most severe consequences because they are unable to protect themselves against the speed and mass of motor vehicles. Motorcyclists face similar risks as they lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, with no doors, windows or roof. Due to the lack of many passenger vehicle safety features, such as seatbelts and airbags, motorcyclists are more likely to be injured or killed in the event of a collision.
Younger and older pedestrians are higher risk vulnerable road users and intersections are a high-risk area, due to the large volume of vehicles and foot traffic; but, public concern about vulnerable road users is less pronounced relative to other road safety issues. Both drivers and vulnerable road users share responsibility for safety. Given the large number of near misses reported by drivers, and the substantial damage they can do regardless of fault, both constant vigilance and slowing down could go a long way to improving the safety of vulnerable road users. However, vulnerable road users must be prudent and respect traffic rules as they are in the weakest position when involved in a crash; not being at fault will not change that. The purpose of these reports is to help improve the safety of vulnerable road users by studying opinions, attitudes and behaviours of the public regarding the issue.
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