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A Guide to Staying Safe in Barrie

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?

 

Police say this corner is bad partly because of “highway and traffic volume”. Their advice to anyone who wishes to remain safe and keep the streets safe is to “remain patient” when the traffic gets thick with congestion. That’s always good advice but very often it pays to identify the spots where it can make the biggest difference if you just sit back and go with the flow rather than trying to zip in and out of lanes, rush the light, or practice other dangerous driving techniques in an attempt to beat the traffic. Besides, the statistics show that this type of behaviour doesn’t result in any significant savings in time. It does, however, increase the risk of causing an accident.

And stay alert between 3 in the afternoon and 5 PM, which is when Barrie Police say the most collisions occur. That’ especially true during January and February, the worst two months of the year for driving in Barrie.

Where to Go if You Need Quick Medical Attention in Barrie

In March of 2019, two youths were killed after their snowmobiles broke through the ice on Lake Muskoka. Three others narrowly escaped the same fate and were able to get to shore and quickly seek medical attention. Had it not been for their quick reflexes in seeking care, their fate may have been much worse.

Whether it’s due to a traffic accident, a fall, or a snowmobile accident, you may need to seek medical attention at some time in the future in Barrie. Here’s a quick guide to your various options that were available at the time of printing. Keep in mind that urgent care and walk-in clinics often change their hours, reduce services, or go out of business altogether so call first before you attempt to visit any of the facilities on this list.

Barrie’s Top Hospitals With Emergency Rooms

  • EM Barrie. The Emergency Department of Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. They see over 82,000 patients per year and the hospital is the largest hospital in the Central Ontario region. Newly renovated, the ED has four isolation rooms for patients with infectious diseases, 15 private rooms for treatment, and nine resuscitation rooms as well as two fully-equipped trauma rooms and an entire area reserved for patients with mental health issues. The hospital has also phased in more in-patient beds, which means they can more quickly admit ED patients who need to stay in the hospital.

Barrie’s Top Walk-In & Urgent Care Clinics

  • Wellington Walk-In Clinic. Located at 200 Wellington Street, they provide non-emergency services for people seeking urgent care.
  • Huronia Urgent Care Clinic. This clinic features an innovative, user-friendly “skip the waiting room” program. Patients can reserve a place in line from home to see a healthcare practitioner. Located on Huronia Road
  • Barrie Medical Clinics. There are several locations, including on Essa Road, Painswick, Wellington Street, and Bell Farm Road. They are all Walk-In clinics.

The map below shows walk-in clinics as well as various types of physiotherapy clinics in Barrie.

Physiotherapy Clinics in Barrie

  • The Simcoe Clinic. A handful of doctors offering chronic pain care.
  • PT Health Clinic Network. This network has several locations in Barrie, including the following facilities…
  • Fotis Physio and Wellness. Located on Big Bay Point Road, this offers a range of services included massage, acupuncture, custom bracing, and condition management.
  • Bell Farm Road ptHealth Clinic. Main services offered include chiropractic and orthotics, and they are gait scan-equipped.
  • Alliston – Victoria and Dufferin. Covering arthritis management, chronic condition management, chiropractic, and more. They are closed on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Otherwise, their hours roughly line up with business hours. Their services are covered by most insurance plans and offer custom treatment plans, flexible scheduling, and prevention strategies.

A Final Word

In all of Canada, Ontario’s roads and streets are among the safest. Barrie is doing well to help prevent accidents with a newly-designed transportation network that includes repairs to Highway 400, new overpasses, and better monitoring of traffic issues. Nevertheless, accidents can — and do — happen. If you’re injured while driving, walking, biking, or simply standing still, you’ll need to know where to get help.

We hope this guide has helped you. And if you feel that your accident was the result of someone else’s carelessness, intentional or otherwise, we may be able to help even further. Our team of knowledgeable and experience injury law attorneys may be able to provide assistance after your accident so please call us and we can let you know whether you have a case.