Ontario sees 3.3% reduction in frequency of car crashes; summer car crashes deadlier than collisions in winter months
Toronto (Nov. 27, 2012) – Ontario roads have become a little bit safer in the past two years, according to a new study from Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. The fourth annual Ontario Safe Driving Study released today looks at collision claims from Allstate Canada customers across the province and found Ontario drivers had 3.3 per cent fewer collisions from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2012, than in the previous 24 month period. Sarnia was the most improved with a 24.69 per cent decrease in collision frequency, while Brockville took the top spot as the community with the lowest collision rate (3.06 per cent). This is the second time Brockville topped the Ontario Safe Driving Study.
Allstate Canada created the study to generate discussion about driving behaviour in Ontario and to help keep roads and communities safer for everyone by emphasizing the importance of safe driving habits. “We’re pleased to see fewer collisions in the province. Whether this is because of an increased awareness of the dangers of hand-held devices starting to take effect, drivers reducing their speed, increased police activity or other influences we don’t yet know, we hope to see this trend continue,” says Saskia Matheson of Allstate Canada.
Not only was Brockville the community with the lowest collision rate, it also had the second largest improvement, a 21.01 per cent decrease, to its collision frequency between the two time periods. Chatham was the third most improved community with a 16.67 per cent decrease.
When analyzing the data for the Ontario Safe Driving Study, Allstate Canada noted a worrying trend about when collisions take place and the severity of injuries. “Ontarians may be surprised to learn that our claims data shows, and this is backed up by provincial road safety studies, that more fatal collisions happen when conditions are clear and roads are dry,” says Matheson. “Speed is often the issue.”
Though winter typically sees the most car crashes for drivers in the province, it is the summer months when collisions are most deadly. The Ontario Road Safety Annual Report released earlier this year (2009 data) shows that July had the highest incidence, 10.9 per cent, of fatal collisions. Surprisingly, 79.8 per cent of all fatal collisions in Ontario happen when driving conditions are clear, while 12.8 per cent of fatal collisions happen in rain and 3.7 per cent in snow.
Allstate Canada reminds drivers that collisions can happen at any time of the year, not just in bad weather conditions. “We encourage all drivers to be attentive, sensible and patient behind the wheel to help keep our roads safer for drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists,” adds Matheson. “Keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road, and your mind on the job.”
Highlights from the Ontario Safe Driving Study
- Northern Ontario continues to be the region with the lowest crash frequency (3.87 per cent for 2010–2012, 3.82 per cent for 2008–2010). The region with the highest rate was the GTA (including metro Toronto) with a collision rate of 5.63 per cent for 2010–2012.
- Except for Hamilton, Ontario’s five most populous cities were all in the bottom quarter of the rankings with higher collision frequencies. In order of population size: Toronto (ranked 43, 6.12 per cent collision frequency), Ottawa (42, 6.10 per cent), Mississauga (38, 5.81 per cent), Brampton (46, 6.45 per cent) and Hamilton (28, 5.24 per cent).
- The newly released 2011 Census shows that Milton had the highest population growth rate, 56.5 per cent, for any municipality in Canada between the 2006 and 2011 census. However, according to Allstate Canada data, Milton’s collision rate increased by only 7.51 per cent between 2008–2010 and 2010–2012.
To see where Ontario cities ranked, view the complete 2012 Ontario Safe Driving Study (PDF).
As the hockey lockout continues, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is helping faithful fans keep city rivalries going strong with its Urban Safe Driving Challenge. The Urban Safe Driving Challenge is a head-to-head look at auto collision claims from Allstate Canada customers between July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2012, in five NHL cities (Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal) and ranks the cities per 100 car insured by Allstate. View the full Urban Safe Driving Challenge results (PDF).
Allstate Canada offers tips to help start the conversation about safe driving.
Allstate Canada conducted an in-depth analysis of company collision data to determine the safest communities in Ontario based on the frequency of collisions. The study spans a 24-month period beginning July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2012 and also offers a comparison to the data from July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2010.
To ensure the data provides a realistic outlook of what is happening on Ontario roadways only communities with at least 900 cars insured by Allstate Canada during the 24-month period were included in the study. Claims data is limited to collisions for which there was a payout; claims for incidents such as break-ins or vandalism are not included in this analysis. Two-year periods were chosen to provide a larger sample for more meaningful analysis. Survey data ranks frequency of collisions, not severity of accident. Collision data can be traced back to the registered car address.
About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of Canada’s leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products, and also recently named to Aon Hewitt’s Best Employers in Canada list. “The Good Hands Network®” enables consumers to contact Allstate Canada through one of 83 community-based Agencies, directly online at www.allstate.ca and through the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-Allstate. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), Crime Stoppers, United Way and Junior Achievement. In 2010, Allstate Canada, in partnership with the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), created the Allstate All-Canadians program, a mentorship program designed to guide the next generation of Canada’s hockey youth. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit www.goodhandsadvice.ca or www.allstate.ca.