More than 90% of road crashes are a result of human error or condition. This means that road crashes are entirely preventable. The focus of our research at TIRF is to improve understanding about 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.
Attitudes, beliefs, personal experiences, sanctions, peer groups and social norms are just some of the factors that play an important role in shaping behaviour. There are also a wide range of proven tools, strategies, programs and technologies that can be used at different points to intervene and promote positive behaviours. Of importance, some persons are more amenable to change whereas others are more persistent in risk-taking, and more reluctant to adopt safer behaviours. As such, it is important that a continuum of strategies is available to road safety professionals to address these differences.
TIRF undertakes a variety of research projects that explore the behaviour of people on the road including our annual Road Safety Monitor public opinion poll series. Each year a report is published on drinking and driving as well as two other contemporary issues. Distracted driving, fatigued driving, aggressive driving, and alcohol and drug-impaired driving are just some of the behaviours that are studied at TIRF. In addition, our research has also examined a range of behavioural interventions including risk assessment, remedial programs, education campaigns, photo enforcement and alcohol interlocks.