Winter Driving Safety CoalitionRAC Board PresentationNovember 23, 2010
Overview • Every winter, thousands of motorists are involved in preventable crashes that create a huge burden on Ontario’s public services (police and healthcare), insurance rates and economy. • Numerous studies have found that proper preparation for winter driving – both driver and vehicle – can improve the vehicle’s performance and the safety of its passengers. • A coalition of credible, influential, Ontario-based organizations representing health, safety and industry partners was established • to raise awareness of the importance of being prepared for winter driving; and • encourage the development of incentives that encourage safer winter driving.
Coalition Members • The coalition members include: • The Ontario Safety league • CAA • Ontario Hospital Association • Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police • Ontario Trucking Association • The Rubber Association of Canada • Canadian Tire Corp
Objectives • As part of efforts to raise awareness of the importance of safer winter driving, the coalition will endeavour to: • Equip drivers with strong tips on how to improve their safety on Ontario roads this winter; • Partner with MTO on a winter driving safety public awareness campaign, including a kick-off event with the Minister and rollout of regional events • Encourage the Ontario government to introduce incentives for drivers who equip their cars with winter tires, such as tax credits and/or insurance premium rebates.
Target Audiences • Primary • Ontario drivers and adult passengers • Government decision-makers and influencers • Media (mainstream, consumer, political, regional, safety, automotive) • Secondary • Healthcare and police professionals • Insurance industry • Opposition parties
Success to-date • Built a credible coalition • Met with over 40 MPPs, Ministers, senor staff to raise awareness that Gov’t has more options available to them beyond legislating mandatory winter tires ie. Tax credits, reduced insurance premiums for winter tires, public awareness campaigns etc. • Secured commitment from Minister of Transport for joint photo op event (Nov 30th) and with MTO for regional events throughout the winter. • Bill Mauro MPP (Liberal Northern Caucus Chair) will introduce a private member’s resolution calling on Insurance Cos to offer reduced premiums for winter tire usage (to be debated Nov 25th)
Tactics • To maintain focus on objectives, well-developed and executed tactics will be the core element of the campaign through the winter months. • The following ideas will be / could be used to support the coalition’s objectives, including: • Launch of Winter Driving Safety Coalition • Regional events in key Ontario markets • Winter Driving Safety Pledge • Report Card on Winter Driving Prep • Ongoing support for Question Period activity • Additional tactics
Key Messages • Crashes during winter months cause a huge burden on our health care system, emergency services, insurances rates and the economy. • Preparing for winter driving keeps you and your family safe and helps prevent winter-weather motor vehicle crashes. • This coalition of credible Ontario-based organizations is committed to reducing the numbers of preventable winter crashes by: • Raising awareness of the importance of winter driving safety; and • Encouraging government and industry to play a role educating and incenting drivers.
Key Messages cont’d • Every year, thousands of Ontarians are involved in preventable winter-weather motor vehicle crashes (Ontario Road Safety Annual Report). • In 2005, 3,000 Canadians died from motor vehicle crashes. • Motor vehicle crashes are the: • Second leading cause of years of life lost • Third leading cause of disability-adjusted years • One insurance company estimated: • 38% increase in auto-collision claims during the winter months • Increase accounted for $38.5 million in claims • Recent survey of Ontario drivers showed: • 55% had experienced car crash / troubles due to poor winter driving conditions • 64% do not have the same level of comfort driving in winter as during other seasons • Too many Ontario drivers rely on inaccurate information and inadequate preparation to get them through a winter of driving.
Key Messages cont’d • To prepare for winter driving, Ontarians should ensure they and their vehicles are ready for winter driving by: • Checking weather forecasts to ensure they avoid driving really bad weather, when possible; • Getting their vehicle checked by a registered mechanic; • Outfitting their vehicle with four matching winter tires and ensuring a winter survival kit is in the vehicle at all times; and • Driving defensively, leaving more space between other vehicles and reducing speed.