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Road Safety

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Road Safety

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TIRF undertakes approximately 30 projects each year with a focus on studying risky behaviours, learning about the characteristics of road users, developing programs, policies and other prevention-based strategies.

Most importantly, TIRF works with transportation, health and criminal justice professionals to transfer knowledge and implement research findings in the real world.

Project-based funding to examine priority road safety topics aligned with TIRF’s research agenda is provided by governments, industry, associations & other non-profits. In addition, charitable corporate and personal donations make it possible for TIRF to develop a wealth of free educational resources to encourage safer choices & keep communities safe.

Road Users

Persons of all ages use our roads every day and the risks we face on the road change over time and with age. Adults of all ages equally rely on roads and transit to get to school and to work. Moreover, regardless of age, everyone uses our roads for health and leisure activities and to remain connected with family and friends. Commercial vehicles drivers face a different set of risks because of how much time they spend behind the wheel on the road in a much larger vehicle. Similarly, active transportation users such as pedestrians, cyclists, riders and motorcyclists face a different set of risks simply because they lack the protective exterior of a vehicle.

Behaviours

The focus of our research at TIRF is to improve understanding of what motivates people to take risks and engage in unsafe behaviours on the road, and how to change behaviour to better protect all road users. The level of risk-taking on the road varies in accordance with the type of behaviour, for example, a small proportion of drivers will drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs whereas a larger proportion of drivers may engage in distraction or speeding under certain conditions.

Solutions

Over the past 50 years, TIRF has developed and evaluated a range of solutions to make roads safer for all types of users. Our research has evaluated different technologies and explored a variety of tailored strategies for specific groups of road users. Examples of our work include driver education and graduated driver licensing programs for young and novice drivers, training programs for commercial drivers and motorcycle riders, remedial programs and alcohol interlocks for impaired drivers, and technologies such as photo enforcement, ignition interlocks, driving simulators and online training.

annual projects
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Every year TIRF conducts more than 30 projects with funding from governments, associations, industry and non-profits to protect the many people who rely on our roads every day for business, family and leisure activities.

“Tackling safety issues requires solving complex problems and TIRF’s ability to provide forums to connect government, business, industry, traffic safety agencies, and non-profit organizations helps to identify bold and multi faceted solutions to some of our most persistent road safety issues. The ability to bring together stakeholders in road safety provides an opportunity for collaboration and connection that would otherwise not exist.”

Sara Volo – Team Leader, Special Projects, Ontario Ministry of Transportation