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Safety by the Numbers: Recent Car Accident Statistics in Ontario

Statistically speaking, Ontario has some of the safest roads in North America, according to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. The Ministry’s 2010 Annual Report (the most recent report available) states our roads have the second-lowest rate of road fatalities in North America. Even so, an average of one person dies every 15 hours because of auto accidents in Ontario.

Below are four things to know about the most recent car accident statistics available. These facts and figures help paint a picture of safety concerns in the province and how/when injuries and fatalities are most likely to occur.

1. Fatalities are on the decline

A total of 579 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2010 in Ontario. That represents a small increase in fatalities from 2009, when 564 people were killed in auto accidents. However, the fatality rate for 2010 was one of the lowest recorded – 0.63 per 10,000 licensed drivers. Overall, there has been a decline in fatal accidents in the past decade. For comparison, 845 people died in crashes in 2001.

2. Injury crashes remain a significant safety concern

There were a total of 215,533 accidents in Ontario in 2010. Of those, 44,430 were classified as personal injury accidents. A personal injury accident is one in which a driver or passenger suffers accident injuries, but there are no fatalities.

3. Timing plays a role in accident risk

Certain times of the day, week and year are more dangerous than others. For instance, the summer and fall months saw the most personal injury accidents. October saw the most fatal accidents in 2010, with 66 reported deaths. July was close behind with 62 deaths.

Fatal accidents were more likely to occur later in the week, with Thursday and Friday ranking high for deadly collisions. Personal injury accidents were more common as the week progressed, though many injury accidents occurred on weekdays such as Tuesday (6,911 accidents) and Wednesday (6,688 accidents).

Perhaps, surprisingly, the most accidents occurred during daylight hours, though many did occur during the dark. The six-hour time span most associated with deadly accidents is noon to 6 p.m., with 191 reported fatal accidents and 19,142 personal injury accidents. Canada Day, Thanksgiving Day and Victoria Day were among the most dangerous holidays for fatal accidents.

4. Negligence is a serious concern for all drivers

Negligence plays a role in many accidents in Ontario. Driver inattentiveness (distracted driving) was a factor in 12,448 personal injury accidents and 65 fatal accidents. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation counts activities like reading, talking on the phone and changing radio stations as examples of inattentiveness. Alcohol and/or drugs played a role in at least 1,887 personal injury accidents and 159 fatal crashes. Driver fatigue was implicated in 578 injury crashes and 16 deaths.

Were you or a family member recently injured in a car crash or pedestrian accident? Learn more about your options, including the types of motor vehicle accident compensation available in Ontario and five signs that you may need to hire a car accident lawyer. If you’re ready to schedule a free consultation with an injury lawyer, call 1-800-JUSTICE®.

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