International Conference on Distracted Driving: Proceedings and Recommendations (from TIRF and CAA)

May 9, 2006 – The International Conference on Distracted Driving � co-organized by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) and the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) – was held October 2-5, 2005 in Toronto, Ontario.

The purpose of the conference was to identify rational and effective programs and policies for controlling the problem of distracted driving, based on solid facts about its magnitude and causes.

The conference attracted over 100 attendees and notable media coverage.

A Summary of the Proceedings and Recommendations from the International Conference on Distracted Driving is now available. To view the Summary, please click here:

Message from TIRF and CAA

The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) and the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) are pleased to present the findings and recommendations from the first International Conference on Distracted Driving.

In recent years, the issue of driver distraction has received increasing attention from the media, public, government, industry and safety organizations. Initially, much of the concern focused on the use of cell phones. Legislators were urged to take action, without having much evidence-based research to support decision-making.

It is now recognized that the sources of distraction inside and outside the vehicle are diverse, their potential impact on the safe operation of the vehicle is varied, and the means for controlling them extend well beyond legislation. To examine the state-of-knowledge about this issue and to consider what steps need to be taken to minimize the risks associated with distracted driving,we assembled a group of internationally recognized leaders in the field to share their knowledge about the problem and how to deal with it effectively. Delegates enriched and expanded this information by participating in Workshops that explored what additional research is needed and how to deal with the problem through awareness and education, technology, legislation and regulation.

This report integrates and summarizes key information from presentations made at the conference as well as the conclusions and recommendations generated by conference participants. We intend to disseminate these recommendations widely so they can provide guidance to a wide range of stakeholders.

We also take this opportunity to acknowledge the many government agencies, associations and companies in Canada and the United States that provided financial and in-kind support for the conference. They are recognized in the report. We also acknowledge the assistance provided by the Advisory Committee, whose expertise was vital in shaping the program and identifying speakers; the contribution of the experts who presented papers at the conference is gratefully acknowledged and their names appear in the program. Workshops at the conference were critical for identifying and achieving consensus on research, program and policy needs. We acknowledge the volunteers who served as workshop moderators as well as the over 100 delegates whose insights and expertise contributed so much to the success of the conference.