A public opinion poll, which will help to kick-start a Toyota Canada-sponsored program, reveals that more can be done to inform motorists about vehicle safety features.
Results from a new public opinion poll by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) show that a majority of Canadian drivers can benefit from more knowledge about the many vehicle safety features rapidly becoming standard on new vehicles across the automotive industry.
The poll, conducted over the course of November 2011 to January 2012, explored a range of issues including familiarity with different safety features, perceptions about their use and the effects of these features on driving.
When asked about the types of vehicle safety features currently available on the market including electronic stability control (ESC), traction control (TC), electronic brake-force distribution (EBFD), anti-lock brake systems (ABS), brake assist (BA), brake override and adaptive headlights, on average, less than one-third of Canadians said that they were aware of these features. A majority of drivers (80.4 per cent) were familiar with ABS; traction control was second with 53.5 per cent of Canadians saying they know of this technology.
The good news is that, although knowledge of these safety features seems to be relatively low among Canadians, more than half of those polled agreed that these safety features would be easy to use and that they would use them if their vehicle had them.
The poll is the first step in the development of a research-based national education program on vehicle safety features. The program, sponsored by the Toyota Canada Foundation, will use results from the poll along with input from road users to create a program aimed at informing the public of important vehicle safety features, their respective benefits and ways in which the features work in conjunction with safe driving practices in the variable road conditions across Canada.