December is the worst month for collisions on Canadian roadways, Allstate Canada data reveals

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Annual study of collision claims data, ranks safe driving communities

Toronto, ON (Dec. 2, 2014) – The newly released annual Allstate Insurance Company of Canada Safe Driving Study reveals that in recent years, the days leading up to the holidays – December 21, 22 and 23 – had the highest number of collision claims, while Christmas Day and New Year’s Day had the lowest number of collision claims.

The study, which examines the frequency of customers’ collision claims in Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario, shows that December 21 had the highest number of collision claims (3,150), followed by December 23 (3,108) and December 22 (3,082), compared to fewer claims on December 25 (1,095) and January 1 (1,414).

“With more drivers out on the roads rushing to parties, socializing, their minds racing with gift ideas and checklists of things to do over the holidays, they may not be paying as much attention to the road as they should be,” says Ryan Michel, Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer for Allstate Canada. “We all have a lot on the go during the holiday season but with winter weather becoming increasing unpredictable, it’s important to recognize that road conditions may be more challenging, so we should all drive with caution, focus on the road ahead, and be patient.”

“Allstate has conducted its Safe Driving Study, with the goal to generate discussions about what it means to be a safe driver and to help keep roads and communities safer for everyone,” says Michel. “While the study can only look at our data, we believe it’s important to share the trends we are seeing, in an effort to promote a national conversation about road safety.”

For the past 27 years, Allstate Canada has been a proud partner of MADD Canada’s annual Project Red Ribbon campaign, which runs this year from November 1, 2014 to January 5, 2015. “Allstate Canada believes that injuries and fatalities related to impaired driving are entirely preventable and is committed to supporting MADD Canada’s efforts to make sure everyone has a safe ride home this holiday season,” says Michel.

2014 Safe Driving Study Results

Looking at the frequency of collision claims by community, of the 50 included in the study Medicine Hat, AB had the lowest collision rate in the study (3.74 per cent), while Ottawa, ON had the highest (6.73 per cent).

Spruce Grove, AB, had the most significant reduction in collision claims frequency (-20 per cent), followed by Aurora, ON (-15 per cent), Medicine Hat, AB (-14 per cent) and Saint John, NB (-13 per cent). The three communities with the greatest increase in collision claims frequency were Dartmouth, NS (29.00 per cent), Halifax, NS (27.00 per cent) and Brantford, ON (23.00 per cent). A harsher than average winter in Nova Scotia last year, is believed to be a factor in that province’s increase in collision claims.

Provincially, Alberta had the highest collision claims frequency (5.66 per cent), followed by Ontario (5.37 per cent), Nova Scotia (5.25 per cent) and New Brunswick (5.00 per cent). Nova Scotia had the greatest increase in collision claims (19.6 per cent), followed by Ontario (3.30 per cent).

Regional Findings

Alberta:

  • The seven Alberta cities in the study, from lowest collision frequency to highest along with their overall ranking in the study, were Medicine Hat (3.74%) (#1), Spruce Grove (4.02%) (#3), Lethbridge (4.49%) (#6), St. Albert (5.01%) (#15), Sherwood Park (5.04%) (#17), Edmonton (6.16%) (#43) and Calgary (6.27%) (#45).

Ontario:

  • Four of the top ten communities in the study, that is communities with the lowest frequency of collisions, were from Ontario: Sarnia (4.00%) (#2), Peterborough (4.07%) (#4), St. Catharines (4.37%) (#5) and Kitchener (4.57%) (#7).
  • Seven of the bottom ten communities in the study, communities with the highest frequency of collision, were from Ontario: Markham (6.12%) (#41), Pickering (6.13%) (#42), Toronto (6.22%) (#44), Maple (6.42%) (#46), Richmond Hill (6.57%) (#47), Milton (6.61%) (#48) and Ottawa (6.73%) (#50).

Nova Scotia:

  • Of the Nova Scotia communities studied, Dartmouth had the lowest collision claims frequency (4.99%) (#12), followed by Lower Sackville (5.11%) (#22) and Bedford (5.50%) (#30). Halifax was the only Nova Scotia community in the bottom 10, (6.72%) (#49).

New Brunswick:

  • Four New Brunswick communities were included in the study, Riverview had the lowest collision claims frequency (5.00%) (#14), followed by Saint John (5.08%) (#21), Fredericton (5.51%) (#31) and Moncton (5.61%) (#33).

For more detailed results as well as breakdowns by city and region see full data table (PDF) via the Allstate website. Allstate Canada has also released a study that looks at collision data from customers in Quebec – found here.

Holiday Drivers Be Cautious

Holiday Drivers Be Cautious: Allstate Canada data reveals December is the worst month for collisions on Canadian roadways
(CNW Group/Allstate Insurance Company of Canada)

Study Methodology

Allstate Canada conducted an in-depth analysis of company collision claims data to determine the safest communities based on the frequency of collisions. The study spans a 24-month period beginning July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2014, and also offers a comparison to the data from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2012.

To ensure the data provides a realistic outlook of what is happening on roadways, only communities with at least 1,500 cars insured by Allstate Canada during the 24-month period were included in the study. The Allstate Safe Driving Study began in Ontario in 2007 and has since expanded to include communities in Alberta, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

This year, 60 communities in the provinces where Allstate Canada has agency locations were included.

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. The study itself does not include the personal information of Allstate customers.

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. The “Good Hands Network”® enables consumers to contact Allstate Canada through one of 85 community-based Agencies, directly online at 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. Allstate Canada has been working with Accident Awareness to educate teens and young drivers on the dangers of distracted and dangerous driving since 2013. Together, the organizations offer free in-school presentations for high schools across the country. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit allstate.ca.

SOURCE: Allstate Insurance Company of Canada