The month of December is a busy time as family, friends and colleagues are in the midst of planning one or more holiday celebrations. Police services across the country will also be out on the roads this time of year to make sure we all arrive safely at our destination. The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) is pleased to release new resources from its Impaired Driving Coalition of Canada (IDCC) which can empower communities and help raise awareness locally to prevent impaired driving this season. The IDCC represents more than 20 organizations working to complete a National Action Plan.
Self-reported data collected during the past few years has demonstrated the significant impact of the pandemic on risk-taking among drivers on the road. Since 2020, a small but concerning percentage of drivers reported taking more risk behind the wheel, including speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving and fatigued driving, than they did previously.
While this increasing trend with respect to speeding, distraction and fatigue reversed in 2022, impaired driving continued to rise with almost one in ten drivers self-reporting driving when they believed they were over the legal limit. Despite a decline in drivers self-reporting driving when they believed they were over the legal limit in 2023 compared to the previous year, 5.8% of Canada’s 26 million drivers reported still doing so.
“A lot of progress was essentially lost during the pandemic as self-reported driving when persons believed they were over the legal limit reached an all-time high,” shares Robyn Robertson, TIRF President & CEO. “Impaired driving is a factor in one in four fatal crashes, and there were 447 Canadians killed in a road crash involving a drinking driver in 2020; the most recent year for which data are available.”
Impaired driving negatively impacts countless communities every year, not only the victims and their families but also the first responders who attend far too many preventable crash scenes, as well as employers and friends.
TIRF’s Impaired Driving Coalition of Canada brings together national, provincial and local organizations with a shared concern about impaired driving. The IDCC and its partner organizations work collaboratively to develop and share helpful resources to support efforts by law enforcement, communities and Canadians in combatting impaired driving. Following the recently released fact sheet and infographic on the impairing effects of alcohol and cannabis and their combined impact on driving skills, this new series shares meaningful, real-world options to put an end to the preventable injuries and deaths caused by those who choose to drive after drinking.
The new fact sheets from the IDCC offer targeted information and strategies to address impaired driving, with a focus on raising awareness during the holiday season when incidents tend to increase. TIRF encourages individuals, communities, and organizations across Canada to utilize these resources to make informed decisions and contribute to the collective effort to prevent impaired driving.
“We are proud to support the Report Impaired Driver (RID) community program which places signs where impaired drivers have been caught and criminally charged,” says Steve Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer of MADD Canada. “The RID program provides the public with the critical reminder that impaired driving can occur in every community. This holiday season, we are again running Project Red Ribbon and we urge everyone to prioritize responsible choices and ensure the safety of themselves and others on the road.”
Download the fact sheets:
- Fatal Collision Review Committee Overview
- 10-step Guide to Form a Fatal Collision Review Committee
- Using Social Media to Strengthen Initiatives
- Using Technology to Increase Community Awareness About Impaired Driving
Project Red Ribbon
MADD Canada’s annual Project Red Ribbon campaign raises awareness about the dangers of impaired driving during the busy holiday season. Running from November 1st until the first Monday after New Year’s, Project Red Ribbon is a nationwide effort that sees volunteers distributing red ribbons and car decals for people to wear and display as a symbol of their commitment to sober driving. The ribbons also serve as a highly visible tribute to all victims who have been killed or injured in impaired driving crashes.
About the Traffic Injury Research Foundation
The vision of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) is to ensure people using roads make it home safely every day by eliminating road deaths, serious injuries and their social costs. TIRF’s mission is to be the knowledge source for safe road users and a world leader in research, program and policy development, evaluation, and knowledge transfer. TIRF is a registered charity and depends on grants, awards, and donations to provide services for the public. Visit www.tirf.ca or find all TIRF websites and social media at https://linktr.ee/tirfcanada.