Provincial Police See Decline in Fatal Crashes

OPP Say Fatalities in "Big Four" Categories Down in All But One

Some good news from the OPP as the provincial services notes a decline in traffic fatalities across Ontario.

There were 296 fatal collisions on provincially-patrolled roads in Ontario last year, in which 333 people lost their lives. By comparison, 343 people died in 304 crashes the year prior.

Road deaths in all but one of the so-called Big Four categories were down last year.

Police counted 82 inattentive driving-related deaths in 2017, but only 55 last year. Seat belt-related deaths were down by one to 50 crashes in 2018, while there were two fewer alcohol or drug-related drug-related crash deaths in 2018 at 56. Speed-related deaths were up by one to 76 in 2018.

“While we are pleased to see positive results, our traffic data should not be viewed as mere numbers. They represent people – passengers, safe drivers, innocent human beings of all ages whose lives were ended because of drivers who were careless and took unnecessary risks. Safe, defensive driving is the only way to prevent more lives from being lost. Every driver owes this to the citizens of Ontario.”

– Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational Support.   

The Breakdown

Transport Trucks 
There were 7,674 collisions involving transport trucks in 2018, marking a four-year high. Fifty five (55) of the crashes were fatal and 1,142 of them resulted in personal injuries.  In 2017, there were 7,287 transport truck collisions, 79 fatal incidents and 1,253 personal injury crashes.
Transport truck drivers were reported as being at-fault in just over half of the collisions over the two-year period, with improper lane changes and following too closely being the top contributing factors.

Thirty-six (36) people died in motorcycle collisions last year, with speed and losing control topping the list of contributing factors. By comparison, there were 48 fatalities in 2017 with improper turning and alcohol impairment as the lead factors. 

Nineteen (19) people died in off-road vehicle incidents in 2018, compared to 22 the previous year. More than half (10) of the riders who died were not wearing a helmet and alcohol was a factor in almost half (8) of the fatalities. Over the past ten years, alcohol has been a factor in 42 percent of off-road vehicle fatalities.   

Twenty-four (24) people lost their lives in boating incidents last year, down from 31 deaths in 2017. All but two (22) of the deceased were not wearing a personal floatation device (PFD). Over the past ten years, 85 percent of those who died in boating incidents were not wearing a PFD or life jacket. Falling overboard and capsized vessels continue to be the top two primary causes in boating deaths.    

There were 13 people killed in snowmobile incidents during the 2017/18 season, compared to 27 in 2016/17. Over the past ten years, 37 per cent of snowmobile fatalities have occurred on frozen waterways. Over the same ten-year period, the primary “driver action” associated with the fatalities was driving too fast for the conditions.

Traffic charges
In 2018, OPP officers laid a total of 381,714 traffic-related charges under the Highway Traffic Act and Criminal Code. There were 375,965 such charges laid in 2017.