OTTAWA, Dec. 21 /CNW/ - A new poll by the Traffic Injury Research
Foundation (TIRF) reveals that many Canadians do consider alternatives
to driving after drinking. The public opinion poll conducted in
September investigated Canadians' behaviours and actions when faced
with the personal decision to drink and drive.
When asked if they ever decided to use alternative strategies to avoid
driving when they had been drinking, 48% of respondents said they'd
decided to ask someone else to drive and 30% answered they waited a few
hours until they were sober. Only 14% answered they ever considered
public transport while 19% considered taking a taxi.
In November 2010, TIRF, arrive alive DRIVE SOBER and Student Life
Education Company launched Change the Conversation - www.changetheconversation.ca - a national education program to reduce impaired driving sponsored by
the Brewers Association of Canada. At the heart of the program is the
element of getting to drinking drivers through their friends and family
who don't drive after drinking.
"What we're seeing are that alternative solutions seem to work for the
majority who drink," explains Ward Vanlaar, lead researcher and Vice
President Research at TIRF. "This information is useful in convincing
drinking drivers to consider alternatives, especially during the
holiday season, by demonstrating that driving after drinking is not the
"Armed with information from research like the Road Safety Monitor and
by using distribution channels like Change the Conversation, we hope to
reach the small cohort of drivers who continue to make the wrong
decision by driving while impaired," says Ian Faris, President & CEO of
the Brewers Association of Canada.
The survey also discovered that Canadians are quite vocal when it comes
to expressing their concern over another person driving after drinking.
A clear majority (87%) of those polled said that they have asked a
person not to drive because they thought that person drank too much.
According to official statistics, in 2008, 790 Canadians were killed in
a traffic crash involving a drinking driver. This represents a decrease
since 2006 and is below the 2004 number of 815, the lowest count from
1995 through 2007.
"It appears a decreasing trend in fatalities may be emerging toward the
end of the first decade of the new millennium," says Vanlaar. "While
the number of fatalities remains high, this decrease is good news going
into the Year of Road Safety in Canada. It will have to be further
monitored to determine if this trend can be sustained."
As with previous Road Safety Monitor polls, researchers asked
respondents to look at their driving habits after drinking. About 5.5%
of Canadians admitted to driving when they thought they were over the
legal limit in the past 12 months. This confirms the considerable drop
from 8.2% in 2007.
When asked if they had driven after consuming any amount of alcohol in
the past 30 days in 2010, more than 24 per cent of Canadians polled
admitted to doing so. This includes drinking and driving after
consuming lower levels of alcohol and levels below the legal or
administrative limits (where they exist).
"The message really is that people admitting to driving while they
thought they were over the legal limit has dropped, therefore reducing
the risk to themselves and others," explains Vanlaar. "This appears to
be in line with the drop in alcohol-related fatalities across Canada. A
clearer picture will appear with more monitoring of the trend."
For the third year in a row, the poll included a closer examination of
regional drinking and driving attitudes and behaviours. Both the
regional and national reports are available on TIRF's website, www.tirf.ca.
About the poll. These results are based on the RSM, an annual public opinion poll
developed and conducted by TIRF. A total of 1,201 Canadians completed
the poll in September and October of 2010. Results can be considered
accurate within plus or minus 2.9%, 19 times out of 20. The majority of
the questions were answered using a scale from one to six where six
indicated high agreement, concern, or support and one indicated low
agreement, concern or support. For the second time, some respondents
were contacted by phone (401 in 2010; 600 in 2009) and some on-line
(800 in 2010; 600 in 2009) as part of a gradual transition to an
About TIRF. Established in 1964, TIRF's mission is to reduce traffic-related
deaths and injuries. As a national, independent, charitable road safety
institute, TIRF designs, promotes, and implements effective programs
and policies, based on sound research. TIRF is a registered charity and
depends on grants, contracts, and donations to provide services for the
public. Visit us online at www.tirf.ca.
SOURCE TRAFFIC INJURY RESEARCH FOUNDATION (TIRF)
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