To coincide with National Road Safety Week (May 12-18), the Canada Safety Council is reminding drivers to have an absolute focus on safety behind the wheel.
While commuter traffic as a whole is reduced worldwide as a result of COVID-19 mitigation efforts, roadways in Canada continue to be an important part of day-to-day life for a wide variety of people including essential workers getting to and from work, delivery services and emergency responders and vulnerable road users including pedestrians and cyclists.
“Driving a vehicle and taking safety precautions go hand in hand,” said Gareth Jones, President and CEO of the Canada Safety Council. “A safe driver should be able to avoid a collision in most scenarios, and that begins with a safety-first perspective and a vigilance on road safety that comes with the privilege of driving.”
The Canada Safety Council is particularly highlighting the following issues:
According to the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, speed is a factor in 800 fatalities and 3,000 serious injuries every year in Canada. At higher speeds, drivers have less time to react to unexpected circumstances and require more distance to come to a full stop.
Distracted driving continues to be a major cause of collisions in Canada — according to Transport Canada, distracted driving was a factor in 21 percent of all fatal collisions and 27 percent of collisions resulting in serious injury in 2016. Also, according to the Traffic Injury Research Foundation’s 2018 Road Safety Monitor survey, more than 75 percent of respondents reported concern over distracted drivers. And yet, 36 per cent of these same respondents indicated that they often talked on their hands-free phone behind the wheel, with an additional 9.3 percent indicating they often talked on their handheld phone and 7.5 percent reporting they send text messages while behind the wheel.