Research Papers

Examining Motor Vehicle Related Injury Rates and Graduated Drivers Licensing Programs Across Canada

Version 1
Date added June 28, 2017
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Category 2017 CARSP XXVII Toronto
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 6B
Author/Auteur Liraz Fridman
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation
Slidedeck Presentation Only (no paper submitted)



Policies related to the reduction of motor vehicle related injuries such as graduated drivers licensing (GDL) are effective at reducing injuries in children and youth. In 2015, Macpherson et al. evaluated a number of pediatric injury prevention policies across Canadian provinces including GDL. The authors found that experts rated injury prevention policies that aligned with best practice, such as GDL, higher than policies that did not align with best practice. Despite evidence that shows that certain injury prevention policies are effective in reducing childhood injuries, there is stick a lack of harmonization across provinces in adopting and enforcing these policies and legislations. The aims of this study are to perform 1) an interprovincial comparison of hospitalization and death rates related to motor-vehicle collisions and 2) summarize differences in graduated driver's licensing (GDL) programs across Canadian provinces. An interprovincial comparison of motor vehicle related hospitalizations and death rates in Canadian adolescents (15-19 years old) was performed using data from the Discharge Abstract Database and the Vital Statistics Death Database. Population-based rates per 100,000 are reported for each province over a 6-year time period (2006-2012). A literature review comparing GDL programs in Canada has also been summarized. In 2006, Prince Edward Island had the highest rate of transport-related injuries 362.5 per 100,000 and this decreased to a rate of 228.1 per 100,000 by 2012. Additionally, Ontario had the lowest rate over the 6-year study period, decreasing from 104 to 72.7 per 100,000 by 2012. In Canada, GDL programs showed variability across provinces in terms of the rules and restrictions of each program. GDL programs varied by the number of level/stages, minimum age, required supervision, driver education/training, blood alcohol concentration, night-time and passenger restrictions, and vehicle signs. This is the first study to compare transport-related injuries among children and youth across Canadian provinces in terms of the rate of hospitalizations, deaths and the enactment of evidence-based GDL policies. Provinces that have implemented and enforced rigorous graduated driver's licensing programs have also seen a decrease in motor-vehicle related hospitalization and death rates over time. These findings highlight the importance of implementing evidence-based prevention policies across Canadian provinces in order to decrease the burden of transport-related injuries.

Liraz Fridman