The Canadian Coalition on Distracted Driving (CCDD) has today announced a National Action Plan to help combat growing rates of collisions and fatalities caused by distracted driving. According to the latest statistics across Canada, deaths caused by distracted driving has passed those caused by impaired driving.
25 per cent of all deaths on Canadian roads in 2013 were caused by distracted driving. Governments and insurance companies now view distracted driving as a major priority. To help push a consensus on how this infraction should be managed, the CCDD was formed to create the National Action Plans.
The finalized plans have been published with 15 items spread across four priority stages: The Plan contains 15 action items organized according to four priority areas: education and prevention, enforcement, data and research, and technology and industry.
"The plan was designed to harness the collective knowledge and learning that has been gained by many organizations," said Robyn Robertson, president and CEO of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation. "Transforming their experience into practical tools and resources that can be used by a much larger group of stakeholders can improve efficiency and affect outcomes on a larger scale."
To develop the plan, the CCDD considered the numerous causes of distracted driving and how drivers can be engaged to avoid driving while distracted. Among the topics researched were: driver behaviour, penalties, enforcement, education campaigns, devices and in-vehicle technologies, emergency medical care, auto insurance, the transportation industry and automated vehicles.
“The components of the plan represent the most essential activities that can support the efforts of agencies with a vested interest in the issue, and help them meet their objectives more efficiently and effectively. In the coming months, the CCDD will produce the series of tools contained in the Plan, and convene discussions in key sectors to help agencies amplify efforts to reduce distracted driving.”
The CCDD is a first of its kind initiative in Canada. It was formed in collaboration between the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), Drop it and Drive, and The Co-operators.
"As the insurer of more than a million vehicles throughout Canada, we see first-hand the toll of distracted driving and we are committed to taking action to address this problem," said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "That's why we partnered with the Traffic Injury Research Foundation and worked as part of the CCDD to develop this set of practical recommendations to reduce the incidence of distracted driving and make our roads safer for everyone."