Tackling the issue of distracted driving

Government, Traffic Safety Researchers, Industry Gather in Toronto at the International Conference on Distracted Driving

October 2, 2005, Toronto – More than 100 researchers, industry experts, government officials and delegates from around the world are gathering in Toronto this week to examine the issue of driver distraction. Co-hosted by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) and the Traffic Research Injury Foundation (TIRF), the International Conference on Distracted Driving will help raise awareness of distracted driving and identify fact-based policies and programs for dealing with the issue.

In a series of panel discussions and workshops, the conference will examine the root causes of driver distraction and the extent to which these factors contribute to road crashes. It will also address awareness and educational programs, legislation, regulation and enforcement strategies, and critical next steps. The conference will wrap up October 5, 2005, with a statement of priority needs for action from the participants.

�We know that driver distraction occurs when a motorist�s attention shifts away from the task at hand � driving � and to another event, activity, object or person,� said David Flewelling, President of the CAA. �Such activities divert driver attention, and place the driver, passengers, and others on the road at greater risk. Driver education and awareness are important tools we have to reduce crashes due to distracted driving.�

The conference will also study the efforts that have been made (or are needed) to assess and reduce the negative impact of distractions caused by current and planned technologies. It will also consider technology, education and awareness campaigns that can prevent the consequences of distraction.

�By bringing together world-renowned experts on the issue of distracted driving, TIRF is seeking to improve its understanding of the causes of distraction and the extent to which they contribute to road crashes,� said Herb Simpson, President and CEO of TIRF. �We also want to identify research and data needs to fill information gaps, and promote evidence-based solutions, based on a solid understanding of the problem.�

For more information about the International Conference on Distracted Driving, visit www.distracteddriving.ca.

About the CAA

CAA is a federation of 9 automobile clubs serving 4.7 million members through 130 offices across Canada. CAA provides a wide range of member services and works to improve travelling and motoring conditions at home and around the world.

About TIRF

Established in 1964, TIRF�s mission is to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries. TIRF designs, promotes and implements effective programs and policies, based on research. More information about TIRF is available at www.trafficinjuryresearch.com.