June 3, 2005 — Fewer people died on Saskatchewan roads last year, with the lowest number of fatal collisions ever recorded in a single year. In 2004, 126 people died as a result of traffic accidents in Saskatchewan. Of these, 103 were vehicle occupants, 14 were pedestrians, four were bicyclists, two were motorcyclists, and three were operators of a snowmobile, an ATV, or a farm vehicle. The number represents a 14.9% decrease from the 2003 figure of 148. Fatalities were also 16.4% lower than the previous three-year average of 150.7.
Fewer people were also injured in 2004. Traffic collisions resulted in 7,284 injuries, 5.2% lower than the 2003 number of 7,684 and 0.5% lower than the previous three-year average of 7,320.
There is a continuing long-term decreasing trend in the overall number of alcohol-related traffic collisions and associated casualties (injuries and deaths) in the province. However, alcohol use continues to be the dominant contributing factor to fatal collisions in Saskatchewan. It was a factor in 44 fatal collisions in 2004, lower than the previous three- year average of 58 crashes per year. The number of injuries resulting from alcohol-involved crashes was 786 in 2004, a 4.2% drop from the previous three-year average of 820.
The proportion of fatally injured vehicle occupants who were unbuckled increased from 42% in 2003 to 45% in 2004. Additionally, 65% of all deaths involving unbelted occupants resulted from single-vehicle incidents. The issue of low seat-belt use among fatally injured vehicle occupants continues to be a concern on rural and First Nations roads. Sixty-two per cent of 21 vehicle occupant deaths on rural roads involved unbelted occupants. All three of the fatalities reported on First Nations roads involved unbelted people.
Source: Canadian Insurance E-NEWS