There are many different causes of motor vehicle injuries including:

  • Distracted driving, where there is a diversion of attention from driving because the driver is temporarily focused on an object, person, task or event not related to driving.
  • Impaired driving, where the use of alcohol or other substances when driving negatively affects vision, vigilance, coordination and muscle control, information processing and divided attention tasks, all of which can contribute to the occurrence of motor vehicle injuries.
  • Young and new drivers, who have a greater risk of collision than older, more experience drivers. The causes of this elevated risk include factors associated with the lack of driving experience and immaturity.

Statistics

Motor Vehicle Collisions

  • In Alberta in 2010, motor vehicle injuries were the third leading cause of injury-related deaths.
  • In 2010, there were 332 deaths, 3,337 hospital admissions and 29,213 emergency department visits due to motor vehicle-related injuries.
  • In 2009, Alberta had the lowest rate of motor vehicle injuries per billion kilometers travelled of all provinces.
  • Males had higher rates than females of motor vehicle-related deaths, hospital admissions and emergency department visits. In 2010, males had a death rate 3 times that of females.
  • Males between 14 and 24 years of age had the highest death, hospital admission and emergency department visit rates due to motor vehicle-related injuries.
  • Those between 15 and 24 years of age make up 30% of the motor-vehicle related injuries, yet only accounted for 15% of the driving population.

Motorcycles

  • In Alberta in 2010 there were 1,575 motorcycle-related emergency department visits. This equates to over 4 visits each day. There were 393 hospital admissions and 22 deaths.
  • Males accounted for 84% of the emergency department visits, 86% of the admissions and 96 per cent of the motorcycle deaths.
  • In 2013, motorcycle driver’s condition was a contributing factor in 5% of the drivers involved in a casualty collision. Compared to drivers involved in total casualty collisions, motorcycle drivers were more likely to have consumed alcohol prior to the crash.

Prevention Messages

  • Use occupant restraints:
    • Always wear a seatbelt wherever you are sitting. It is the law. The fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $115.
    • Find out if your child should be in a child safety seat, booster seat or wearing a seat belt in the back seat.

  • How can I stop drunk or high driving?
    • Before you go out, make a plan to get home.
    • If you have used alcohol or drugs, don’t drive. Don’t be a passenger of someone who has used alcohol or drugs.
    • Call family, a friend or a cab for a ride. Take the bus. If there is no ride home, stay overnight.
    • Remember only time can make you sober. Food, coffee and energy drinks won’t do it.
    • Set rules for your family and friends. Don’t let them drive after they use alcohol or drugs.
    • Report a drunk or high driver by calling 911.

  • Obey all traffic signals and signs including speed limits:
    • Pass safely and don’t weave through traffic.
    • Allow other drivers who are signaling to pass into your lane.
    • Come to a full stop at red lights and stop signs.
    • Check for oncoming traffic at intersections. Check even if you have the right-of-way.
    • Do you see an aggressive or rude driver? Take a deep breath and keep driving safely.

  • Keep your eyes, brain and hands focused on driving.
    • Don’t use a cell phone when driving. Even hands-free cell phones are a problem.
    • Adjust radio dials, eat or read maps before you start driving.
    • Avoid being distracted by pets or people in the car.
    • Falling asleep on the road? Park the vehicle in a safe place and take a nap. Take a break if you notice warning signs like frequent yawning, blurred vision, drifting or swerving.

  • Keep young drivers safe.
    • Learner drivers should get at least 60 hours of practice. That should include 10 hours of winter conditions.
    • Young people watch your driving. They learn from you. Be a good role model. Follow the rules.
    • Make sure teens follow rules about zero alcohol/drug use and no cell phone use when driving.
    • Don’t let your teen drive without adult supervision between 9 PM and 6 AM especially on Friday and Saturday nights until they get more experience.
    • Crashes are more likely to happen when new drivers travel with other teens in the vehicle. Teens should travel alone or just with family members for the first 6 to 12 months.

    Position Statements

    Blood Alcohol Concentration
    Alcohol is a factor in many injuries and deaths. In order to decrease the rate of injury associated with alcohol, limiting alcohol accessibility through policy (i.e. density, hours of operation and pricing) is most efficient and effective. Beyond that, emphasis needs to be put on a cmprehensive approach going well beyond education. It is imperative to implement initiatives at multiple levels engaging key influencers, neighbourhoods, health organizations, businesses, media, police, schools, etc.

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    Booster Seats
    It is the position of the Alberta Occupant Restraint Program (AORP) that at a minimum all child passengers under 9 years of age, who weigh less than 37 kg (80lb) and are less than 125 cm should be in an approved and properly used booster seat while traveling in a motor vehicle. AORP will take a staged approach including providing information to health and enforcement professionals, practitioners, parents and caregivers, encouraging product availability through increased consumer knowledge and future supportive legislation.

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    Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL)
    The IPC (then, ACICR) has adopted and endorses the Traffic Injury Research Foundation’s “Best Practices for Graduated Driver Licensing in Canada” (Mayhew, Simpson, & Singhal, 2005) as the model for graduated driver licensing (GDL) legislation in Alberta. This well researched document makes recommendations for GDL programs that will reduce the number and severity of injuries associated with new and young drivers.

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    Response to Consultation

    Hand-held Communication Devices
    The IPC (then, ACICR) has adopted and endorses the Traffic Injury Research Foundation’s “Best Practices for Graduated Driver Licensing in Canada” (Mayhew, Simpson, & Singhal, 2005) as the model for graduated driver licensing (GDL) legislation in Alberta. This well researched document makes recommendations for GDL programs that will reduce the number and severity of injuries associated with new and young drivers.

    [Read More]

    Response for Distracted Driving Amendment Development, Jan 2009
    The IPC (then, ACICR) has adopted and endorses the Traffic Injury Research Foundation’s “Best Practices for Graduated Driver Licensing in Canada” (Mayhew, Simpson, & Singhal, 2005) as the model for graduated driver licensing (GDL) legislation in Alberta. This well researched document makes recommendations for GDL programs that will reduce the number and severity of injuries associated with new and young drivers.

    [Read More]

    Input to Justice Canada’s Consultation on Modernizing Transportation Provisions of the Criminal Code
    The IPC (then, ACICR) has adopted and endorses the Traffic Injury Research Foundation’s “Best Practices for Graduated Driver Licensing in Canada” (Mayhew, Simpson, & Singhal, 2005) as the model for graduated driver licensing (GDL) legislation in Alberta. This well researched document makes recommendations for GDL programs that will reduce the number and severity of injuries associated with new and young drivers.

    [Read More]


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