Protecting Youth Against Impaired Driving – MADD Canada’s School Assembly Program Resonates With Students

MADD Canada’s School Assembly Program presents students with solid information and best practices to help them understand the issue of alcohol and/or drug-impaired driving.

Following MADD Canada’s 2017-2018 School Assembly Program, titled The Pact, surveys were conducted with 10,550 students to assess the program’s effectiveness in influencing students’ attitudes and behaviours around alcohol and/or drug consumption and driving. A follow-up survey was done three months later with 1,629 students to track how opinions and behaviours may have changed in that time.

Overall, the 2017-2018 School Assembly Program experienced similar levels of success as previous years, indicating that the presentation continues to be impactful and informative as it relates to students’ perceptions of impaired driving.

Students understood the main messages of The Pact and the many interrelated aspects of the dangers of impaired driving. Students identified the core message of not drinking or using drugs before driving, as well as not to get into a car with a driver who is impaired. Students also understood the message to plan ahead for a safe way home.

Select survey findings:

  • Nearly half of all students (45%) said the testimonials of real victims of impaired driving were the most impactful part of the program.
  • The majority of students strongly agreed that:
    • the presentation was effective in delivering the main message (66% post-assembly and 67% follow-up);
    • it made them want to the make the right decision when it comes to impaired driving (74% post-assembly, 73% follow-up).
  • One of the crucial benefits of the presentation is the on-going discussion it generates. Nearly three quarters of students (73%) said they had, or planned to have, conversations with friends and family about the presentation or impaired driving.
  • Nearly all students (97%) saw importance in showing a similar presentation next year.
  • The survey also highlighted the program’s effect on student perceptions about the impact of either drugs or alcohol a person’s ability to drive.
    • Perceptions of the effect of impairment from either drugs or alcohol was more acute among students who had seen The Pact than those who had not (the baseline sample). Students typically agreed that cannabis use would make a person’s ability to drive ‘a lot worse’ (72% baseline, 79% post-assembly, 86% follow-up).
    • Three months after the presentation, more than half of students (58%) reported that they are now ‘more likely’ to believe it has a negative effect on driving ability.

Read the summary of the report

The survey was conducted by Environics Research Group, a leading Canadian public affairs and market research company, with offices in Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary. For more information about Environics, you can visit their website at If you have any questions regarding the research study, please contact Dawn Regan, Chief Operating Officer for MADD Canada at 905-829-8805 or 1-800-655-6233, ext 223 (