OTTAWA, June 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Results from a new public opinion poll by
the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) show that a majority of
Canadian drivers can benefit from more knowledge about the many vehicle
safety features rapidly becoming standard on new vehicles across the
automotive industry. The poll, conducted over the course of November
2011 to January 2012, explored a range of issues including familiarity
with different safety features, perceptions about their use, and the
effects of these features on driving.
When asked about the types of vehicle safety features currently
available on the market including electronic stability control (ESC),
traction control (TC), electronic brake-force distribution (EBFD),
anti-lock brake systems (ABS), brake assist (BA), brake override, and
adaptive headlights, on average, less than one-third of Canadians said
that they were aware of these features. A majority of drivers (80.4%)
were familiar with ABS; traction control was second with 53.5% of
Canadians saying they know of this technology.
"To some extent, it is not unusual that Canadians have much greater
familiarity with ABS as it has been widely available for almost 30
years, unlike newer technologies such as lane departure warning systems
which have only become available in the last ten years", explains Robyn
Robertson, TIRF President and CEO. "It is important that we continue to
increase awareness of the availability and use of these features among
drivers as they enter the market, to help keep drivers safe on our
The good news is that, although knowledge of these safety features seems
to be relatively low among Canadians, more than half of those polled
agreed that these safety features would be easy to use and that they
would use them if their vehicle had them. This is encouraging as
studies have shown that safety features prevent crashes and injuries
when used alongside safe driving practices.
"Given that many drivers view themselves as a safer driver than the
average Canadian, efforts to address this knowledge gap are important.
Increased awareness of these features and how they work can also
reinforce the message that safety features do not discount the need for
drivers to continue to rely on those safe driving behaviours that many
first learned well before these safety features became available,"
The poll is the first step in the development of a research-based
national education program on vehicle safety features. The program,
sponsored by The Toyota Canada Foundation, will use results from the
poll along with input from road users to create a program aimed at
informing the public of important vehicle safety features, their
respective benefits, and ways in which the features work in conjunction
with safe driving practices in the variable road conditions that
Canadian drivers can experience seasonally across Canada.
"With a combined goal to reduce deaths and injuries, we are confident
that Canadian drivers will marry an increased understanding of safety
technologies with smarter driving habits," said Stephen Beatty,
Managing Director, Toyota Canada Inc. "Together we're using sound
research to build a campaign to encourage smarter driving habits across
About the poll. These results are based on a public opinion poll developed and conducted
by TIRF. A total of 2,506 Canadians completed the poll between November
2011 and January of 2012. Results can be considered accurate within
plus or minus 2.0%, 19 times out of 20. Visit www.BrainonBoard.ca for more information.
About TIRF. Established in 1964, TIRF's mission is to reduce traffic-related
deaths and injuries. As a national, independent, charitable road safety
research institute, TIRF designs, promotes, and implements effective
programs and policies, based on sound research. TIRF is a registered
charity and depends on grants, awards, and donations to provide
services for the public. Visit us online at www.tirf.ca.
About Toyota Canada Foundation. Toyota Canada Foundation (TCF) is a national not-for-profit, private
charitable foundation, with a long-standing commitment to the
Environment, Education and Safety and it supports charitable and
non-profit organizations dedicated to good work in these areas.
The Toyota Canada Foundation has a long history of partnering with
like-minded organizations and supporting programs in the areas of
Environment, Education and Safety, including:
Special Olympics Canada Toyota Volunteer Training Day's since 1991
Scientists in School since 1997
Traffic Injury Research Foundation since 2002
Toyota Earth Day Scholarship Program since 2003
SOURCE TRAFFIC INJURY RESEARCH FOUNDATION (TIRF)
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