The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) saw both positive and negative indicators of driver behaviour when they compared the recently released 2015 collision data to 2014's. It also revealed how driver behaviour contributed to the 260 fatal motor vehicle collisions that occurred on OPP-patrolled roads and highways last year.
You can read the entire report here, but the major takeaway was that while road deaths were up, all "Big Four" categories were down.
In 2015, the "Big Four" accounted for the majority of deaths on OPP-patrolled roads. These are preventable road deaths associated with alcohol/drug use, inattentive driving, speeding and not wearing seat belts. According to the data, 299 people were killed in road collisions in OPP jurisdiction in 2015, compared to 288 in 2014.
|Big Four Fatality Category||2015 Deaths||2014 Deaths|
However, as you can see above, while the amount of auto fatalities increased, the amount of those killed in "Big Four" related incidents were down across all categories. Also, 2015 marked the lowest number of alcohol and drug related fatalities in over a decade. In addition to that, last year showed the biggest reduction in inattentive-related fatalities since Ontario introduced distracted driving laws in 2009.
According to OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational Support, drivers have opportunities to make roads safer for everyone as well: "The OPP are concerned that more people died in road crashes in 2015 than in the previous year. We are encouraged to see lower numbers in all of the Big Four fatality causal factor categories, but we need to see drivers keep this downward trend going. There is no worse place to take risks, exercise poor judgment and make mistakes than behind the wheel."
Practice Safe Driving Habits
Here at Canada Auto Loan, not only do we want to connect you with a car dealer that can help you get into a vehicle, but we also want to help you stay safe once you're back on the road. Practice safe driving by following these tips that could keep you and your family safe on the road.
Even if you got in a lot of practice when you got your driver's licence, it may be in your best interests to refresh yourself on defensive driving. Always keep an eye out to defend yourself against other motorists' bad habits.
While the reported numbers of distracted driving fatalities were low, they were still the highest amongst the "Big Four" in 2015. Activities such as talking on your phone, texting, eating - basically anything that keeps you from focusing on the road - can be fatal for you and others.
The right amount of sleep will allow you to have the means to stay alert while on the road. Be well rested before hitting the road.
While this is common sense, many drivers tend to get lazy with this practice over time. Failure to use your turn signals and cutting off other drivers can cause an accident for you or someone else.
Following too closely behind another driver can spell disaster for you and your passengers. Always maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
If you are driving in inclement weather or passing road hazards, be sure to slow your speed to ensure safety for you, your passengers, and other motorists.
Ensuring that your vehicle's engine, tires, oil and brakes are in top shape will help keep you and others safe on the road.
Be sure to know and check where your blind spots are on your car. One split second where you didn't "see them coming" can make all the difference.
Safety systems include your turn signals, lights, seat belts, and any anti-lock braking and anti-collision systems you have available on your vehicle.
Safe Vehicle Recommendations
If you are looking to upgrade to a newer, safer vehicle but have damaged credit or are on a budget, we here at Canada Auto Loan have some great suggestions for you. The following new Small Cars have been awarded by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) with Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+) and Top Safety Pick (TSP) ratings, and all start at less than $20,000.
If you need to purchase a vehicle, Canada Auto Loan can connect you with an auto dealer in your local area that is qualified to work with your unique credit situation. Get started today by completing our fast, secure and simple online application.