Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ontario Hospital Association Encourages Safe Winter Driving to Reduce Strain on Health System

TORONTO, December 4, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - It's Canadian National Safety Driving Week (December 1 - 7, 2012), and the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is joining safety advocates in encouraging Ontario drivers to take extra precautions on the road throughout the winter months to reduce the risk of motor vehicle crashes.

The Ontario Injury Data Report states that motor vehicle collisions resulted in over 130,000 emergency room visits, 8,100 hospitalizations and 3,200 deaths in 2007-2009. Winter motor vehicle collisions in Ontario cost approximately $1 billion each year with winter road maintenance accounting for an additional $1 billion annually (University of Waterloo, 2011).

"We all need to do our part to help stay safe and prevent additional strains on the health care system," said OHA President and CEO, Pat Campbell. "Avoidable hospitalizations caused by winter driving collisions can have an enormous impact on our health care system. Wait times can increase, hospital beds can be occupied for longer periods of time, and the cost ends up affecting all Ontarians."

The OHA is part of a coalition made up of the Ontario Safety League, Canadian Tire, the Rubber Association of Canada and CAA South Central Ontario, that works to promote road safety and supports research to further understand issues and best practices. The coalition and the Traffic Injury Research Foundation recently released Winter Tires: A Review of Research on Effectiveness and Use, examining Canadian and international research on the benefits of winter ties.

While the study recognizes the value of properly using winter tires, it's important to ensure overall vehicle preparedness and defensive driving techniques as aspects of safe winter driving.

Tips to help motorists stay safe on the roads this winter:

...Install four matching winter tires
...Get your battery, ignition system, lights and brakes tested
...Ensure your wipers are in good working condition
...Pack an emergency kit and winter windshield washer fluid
...Practice winter driving techniques before you need them
...Check your tire pressure monthly
...Plan your trips ahead of time

About the OHA:

The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is the voice of Ontario's public hospitals. Founded in 1924, the OHA uses advocacy, education and partnerships to build a strong, innovative and sustainable health care system for all Ontarians.

Visit our Web Site: ://www.oha.com