Barrie’s streets have seen more than a few changes over the past decade. No longer a mere bedroom community of Toronto, Barrie is booming as a tourist destination in all seasons. Its strategic position near Toronto, Ottawa, and other rural areas in northern Ontario give the city leverage as an important employer in its own right. The arts scene is vibrant and horse-racing draws fans from far and wide.
Change Can Create Hazards Out There!
While these factors have been good for Barrie’s economy, it’s sometimes a different story as far as congestion and street safety are concerned. The city’s much-needed strategic road safety plan to improve roads and repair infrastructure has certainly added to traffic confusion and temporary congestion since 2014 as construction crews worked hard to fulfill those safety goals.
Change, confusion, congestion… these things can lead to more accidents on the streets.
This guide is for folks who don’t want to become an accident statistic. It’s a basic safety awareness sheet, plus a quick reference to places to seek medical attention should you be involved in an accident while driving or walking the streets of Barrie.
Why Safety Awareness is Important
An oft-quoted statistic is that the top type of injury that results in a necessary trip to the Emergency Department is a fall. That conjures up images of seniors falling in the home, which is indeed a common occurrence and a major safety threat for that segment of the population.
Yet, less than one-third of all ED visits are due to falls that occur in the home. What about the rest, then? The top reason for needing emergency treatment outside the home is a motor vehicle accident. Pedestrian safety stats can make you feel a little nervous too. The worst kind, of course, involve a motor vehicle.
These figures come from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, which tracks not just the number of Emergency Department visits but also what types of injuries send people to the ED.
Bottom line: walking and driving can be hazardous to your health!
That goes for anybody, not just seniors and drivers. Lest you think that falling down or fender benders are the exclusive domain of senior Canadians, here’s one last stat for you: In 2018, a whopping nine thousand people of all ages slipped on the ice, incurring injuries serious enough to warrant a trip to a doctor.
The bottom line? It pays to give some thought to accident prevention and to know where you can turn when you need help after an accident. The best thing you can do for yourself when you’re navigating the streets of Barrie — or any other city, for that matter — is to remain alert and always drive/walk/cycle defensively.
Driving Safety in Barrie
From Bradford Street to downtown to Lakeshore Drive at the GO station, it’s still a relatively peaceful, pleasant drive but accidents do happen. In February of 2019, the Barrie Police Department responded to 28 different motor vehicle collisions in a twelve-hour period!
And did you know the following dangerous traffic events had occurred, right here in Barrie?
- A man narrowly escaped a fatality in a car accident that occurred after a two-vehicle crash at the corner of Tiffin and Anne Streets
- A 40-year-old woman was killed as she walked on the street in Bradford? A 71-year-old motorist was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian
- A driver fleeing police crashed into a Barrie police cruiser and then continued driving in a wild manner to evade police
The Most Dangerous Intersections in Barrie
Barrie may rate highly on tourists’ list of favoured destinations but as far as collision rates go, it rates pretty badly. An Allstate survey conducted in 2017 ranks Barrie number 71 out of 93 cities in terms of collision claims. That puts them in the lowest quartile for the country.
So, where are all these collisions taking place? Here are some of the “collision hot spots” in Barrie, where everyone should take extra care to be alert and careful. This data comes from the Barrie Police Service.
- Ferndale Drive North and Dunlop Street – top of the list
- Bayfield Street and Coulter Street
- Mapleview Drive West and Highway 400
- Hart Drive and Dunlop Street West
- Duckworth Street and Georgian Drive
Here’s a map of the absolute worst intersection in Barrie. Can you guess why it’s a particularly bad place for pedestrians and drivers alike?