Road safety leaders raise awareness of driver fatigue for Remembrance Day for road traffic victims: IBC

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TORONTO, Nov. 19, 2008 – Today marks National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims in Canada, and the Highway Safety Roundtable is warning Canadians to find somewhere safe to pull over if they’re too tired to drive.

“This is a time of year when we stop to remember road traffic victims,” says Robert Tremblay, Director, Road Safety, Insurance Bureau of Canada, and member of the Roundtable. “And it is also a time for all drivers to think about what they can do to make our roads safer.

“Driver fatigue is a deadly problem. According a study released in June by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, up to 19% of all fatal collisions are caused by fatigue,” Tremblay adds.

The Highway Safety Roundtable has produced several radio Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to highlight the dangers and prevalence of drowsy driving. They remind drivers that there is no better cure for driver fatigue than a good night’s sleep, and that those who find themselves nodding off at the wheel should pull over immediately and take a power nap.

Grassroots efforts in communities are also critical in the effort to raise awareness about driver fatigue. To that end, the Ontario Provincial Police have been running the Driver Reviver program on holiday long weekends since 2002.

Constable Harry Rawluk, of the Huntsville detachment of the OPP, was central in getting the program up and running. “We urge people to pull off the highway, take a break and have a cup of coffee,” says Rawluk. “Then we have a chance to talk to them about driver fatigue. The program is operated mostly by volunteers and has been immensely successful.”

He adds: “In my experience, many drivers underestimate how tired they are, and have no idea how risky it is. We’ve had some visitors to the Driver Reviver station who appeared to be drunk. It was only upon closer examination that we determined they were actually suffering from fatigue impairment.”

About Highway Safety Roundtable:
The Highway Safety Roundtable includes the Brewers Association of Canada, Canada Safety Council, Canadian Automobile Association, Insurance Bureau of Canada, Railway Association of Canada and Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada:
Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, car, and business insurers. Its member companies represent nearly 95% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 108,000 Canadians, pays more than $6 billion in taxes to the federal and provincial governments, and has a total premium base of $36 billion. To view news releases and information, visit the media section of IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca.