Reducing the Risks on the Road
In Canada, road crashes kill someone every three hours and disable another every seven minutes. Traffic mishaps cost Canadian taxpayers an average of $27 billion each year and also lead to an incalculable amount of lost time from the cascade of traffic congestion. More than 90 per cent of these road crashes are caused by driver error.
Dr. Donald Redelmeier, Canada Research Chair in Medical Decision Making, is a specialist in the areas of cognitive psychology and clinical care, and has a particular interest in motor vehicle safety. Redelmeier wants to reduce traffic-related deaths by studying how errors in reasoning and chronic medical diseases contribute to major trauma.
Redelmeier’s earlier studies on the link between cellular phone use and road collisions received widespread media coverage and led to policy debates over new legislation in Canada and beyond. Among his other studies include analyses of driving fatalities on Super Bowl Sunday and road deaths during American presidential elections.
The possible implications of the research are wide-ranging. His studies will increase public awareness about traffic-related deaths, thereby potentially sparking new policies to improve road safety. His work will also help translate behavioural decision science to the medical field of traumatic injury.