LÉVIS, QC, March 23, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - Approximately 1.3 million people die globally each year from road crashes and millions more suffer non-fatal injuries according to the World Health Organization (WHO1). More than half of all road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users (i.e., pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists). It is why the UN and WHO have launched the Decade of Action for Road Safety and set an ambitious target of preventing at least 50% of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030. Today, Desjardins is investing $3.2 million to support leading non-profit organizations in Canada to achieve this sustainable development goal over the next three years.
In 2020, people between 1 and 44 accounted for over half (50.3%) of road related deaths and 58% of those seriously injured in motor vehicle collisions.2. The economic burden of collision-related injuries and deaths in Canada is over $3.6 billion a year, but the personal toll is immeasurable.
Desjardins is committed to reducing the preventable, and unnecessary, injuries and deaths that occur on our roads. Through this investment, Desjardins will work closely with Parachute, Traffic Injury Research Foundation, and Arrive Alive to increase awareness, educate and develop solutions that can help save lives and prevent injury.
"This investment of $3.2 million is the largest commitment we have made towards road safety. It is a concrete example of how Desjardins is directly supporting the wellbeing of its members, clients and communities," said Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group. "We are proud to partner with these great organizations to support the Decade of Action for Road Safety."
World Health Organization. (2021, June 21). Road traffic injuries. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/road-traffic-injuries
Transport Canada. (2022, February 2). Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics: 2020. Retrieved from https://tc.canada.ca/en/road-transportation/statistics-data/canadian-motor-vehicle-traffic-collision-statistics-2020
Whether it's mitigating wildlife vehicle collisions or helping local communities adopt best practices for road safety, Desjardins has been working alongside its partners to keep Canadians safe for many years now. Additionally, Desjardins surveys thousands of drivers every year to better understand their opinions and behaviours; the results are shared to better inform Canadians of the risks of the road.
"We must act to keep Canadians safe on our roads; this investment is a testament to our commitment to supporting drivers and creating safer communities. We need to do everything we can to work with road users to adopt safer habits if we want to see real change on our roads. Because one injury, one death, is one too many. I am proud that Desjardins can be part of the solution," said Valérie Lavoie, President and Chief Operating Officer, Desjardins General Insurance Group.
Additionally, Desjardins Insurance's Ajusto program has been encouraging safe drivers and rewarding them for making our roads safer since 2013. The program assesses behaviour (speed, rapid acceleration, sudden braking, distraction caused by cell phones) and driving habits (distance travelled, hours of travel and daily travel routine). All of these elements contribute to generating a score that helps to personalize the driver's premium. Currently, nearly 90% of clients who have signed up have seen a neutral or positive impact on their premiums. Desjardins will continue working with clients who have lower scores to help them achieve better results through alerts and advice via the app.
"We are delighted to continue our partnership with Desjardins in our mutual goal of zero serious injuries and deaths on our roads," says Pamela Fuselli, President and CEO of Parachute. "While all road users play a part in safety, we also need to ensure these preventable injuries are made a priority within society and government ? that means how roads are built, the kind of policy, laws and standards we enforce, as well as education and awareness."
"Most road crashes are entirely preventable, yet collisions remain a leading cause of death, particularly for young people. Communities are most affected and bear the greatest emotional, social and economic costs of crashes," said Robyn Robertson, President & CEO of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation. "In partnership with Desjardins, our Action2Zero learning center helps communities build their expertise and capacity to tackle road safety priorities in their area.
"For over a decade Desjardins Insurance has partnered with arrive alive DRIVE SOBER to raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving," said Pete Wytka, the Executive Director of Arrive Alive. "During this time Arrive Alive has been able to create and distribute educational videos for high school students, public service announcements for television and radio, and informational pamphlets. These have all been shared with members of the public throughout Canada, and it would not be possible without the support we receive from key partners like Desjardins. We encourage drivers, passengers, and hosts to plan ahead, use safe and responsible modes of transportation, while also informing soon-to-be and young drivers of the costs and consequences of impaired driving."
Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in North America and the fifth largest cooperative financial group in the world, with assets of $397 billion. In 2021 it was ranked as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers by Mediacorp. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Ranked among the world's strongest banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has one of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.
SOURCE Desjardins Group
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