Transport truck drivers were reported as being at-fault in just over half of the collisions over the two-year periodAll categories of fatalities on OPP-patrolled roads, waterways, and trails are down in 2018 when compared to the previous year.
There were 296 fatal road collisions last year in which 333 people died. By comparison, there were 304 fatal crashes and 343 deaths in 2017.
While fatal crashes were slightly down, personal injury and property damage collisions drove numbers up. In total, the OPP responded to 72,060 collisions last year, compared to 68,782 in 2017.
Road deaths in all but one of the “Big Four” categories were down last year. The “Big Four” refers to the four main causal factors in road fatalities and account for the majority of deaths on roads. Most notably, last year marked the lowest number of inattentive-related road deaths in almost 10 years.
“Big Four” causal factors:
There were 7,674 collisions involving transport trucks in 2018, marking a four-year high. Fifty-five 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 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 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 10 years, alcohol has been a factor in 42 per cent of off-road vehicle fatalities.
Twenty-four 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 10 years, 85 per cent 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 10 years, 37 per cent of snowmobile fatalities have occurred on frozen waterways. Over the same 10 year period, the primary “driver action” associated with the fatalities was driving too fast for the conditions.
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.
“While we are pleased to see positive results, our traffic data should not be viewed as mere numbers,” said Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, “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.”