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Monday, June 4, 2012

Trends in alcohol-impaired driving in Canada

While a general decreasing trend in the number of persons killed in a traffic crash involving a drinking driver has occurred in Canada since the 1980s, it is evident that much of this decrease occurred in the 1990s. Since 2002, less progress has been made as the number of persons killed in crashes involving drinking drivers remains high.

To better understand the current situation, this paper describes trends in drinking and driving in Canada from 1998 to 2011 using multiple indicators based on data collected for the Traffic Injury Research Foundation's (TIRF) Road Safety Monitor (RSM), the National Opinion Poll on Drinking and Driving, and trends in alcohol-related crashes based on data collected for TIR
F's national Fatality Database in Canada.

There has been a continued and consistent decrease in the number of fatalities involving a drinking driver in Canada. This remains true when looking at the number of fatalities involving a drinking driver per 100,000 population and per 100,000 licensed drivers. This decreasing trend is also still apparent when considering the percentage of persons killed in a traffic crash in Canada involving a drinking driver although less pronounced. Data from the RSM further show that the percentage of those who reported driving after they thought they were over the legal limit has also declined.

However, regardless of the apparent decreasing trend in drinking driving fatalities and behaviour, reductions have been relatively modest, and fatalities in crashes involving drivers who have consumed alcohol remain high at unacceptable levels.

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