The Drug Impaired Driving Resource Centre is a fully bilingual, web-based educational resource that was developed by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, in partnership with Desjardins Insurance.
This comprehensive, accessible tool was created to inform the development of an evidence-based drug-impaired driving strategy. It was designed to meet the needs of a wide spectrum of diverse stakeholders who are seeking information about this priority topic.
Drug-impaired driving represents a major challenge to road safety professionals around the world. The number of impairing substances, including over-the-counter medications (OTCs), and prescription and illegal drugs, is substantial. However, unlike research about alcohol, much less is known about the impairing effects of these substances on driving.
Research is underway at an unprecedented pace to develop new knowledge and close this gap. However, this has made it challenging for policymakers, practitioners and the public to remain abreast of important issues.
The objective of the DIDLC is to support the work of governments and road safety partners by sharing current knowledge about research and practice, and increasing awareness about drug-impaired driving. A consolidated base of knowledge is essential to build a common understanding of the drug-impaired driving problem, inform discussion, and achieve progress in reducing it.
The Learning Centre contains several modules that are structured in a question and answer format, similar to other TIRF educational programs. Module topics include:
- The Problem. This module summarizes international research regarding the size of the drug-impaired driving problem, characteristics of drug-impaired drivers and the types of drugs most frequently detected. It includes research regarding public knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and perceptions of the problem.
- Effects of Drugs on Driving. This module describes the research methods typically used to investigate drug-impaired driving, and the types of drugs that are detected in drivers. It also summarizes what is known about the impairing effects of these drugs.
- Laws & Penalties. This module describes general approaches to laws and legal penalties that are related to drug use as well as drug-impaired driving. It also reviews the effectiveness of different types of penalties for alcohol- and drug-impaired driving offences, including criminal and administrative penalties.
- Tools & Technologies. This module contains information about a variety of tools and technologies that may aid in the detection and measurement of different types of drugs in a driver’s system. While some of these tools are already available and in use by law enforcement agencies in some jurisdictions, other tools are either under development or undergoing testing to gauge their sensitivity and specificity.
The DIDLC also contains several free resources including fact sheets, links to research studies, program materials, experiences from other jurisdictions, and examples of practice.
The information contained in the DIDLC was critically reviewed by leading, independent experts in drug-impaired driving issues. Their insight and knowledge has informed the content of the DIDLC and their valuable input is greatly appreciated.
Dr. Marilyn A. Huestis
Dr. Thomas G. Brown