As we head into the most dangerous driving season, Allstate Canada Safe Driving Study reveals collisions continue to rise

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Are you sharing the road? Most severe collisions involve pedestrians and cyclists

Markham, ON (Nov. 22, 2017) — Despite improvements in certain regions, the latest Allstate Insurance Company of Canada Safe Driving Study has found that collisions are still on the rise across Canada, with an overall increase of 2.5 per cent in frequency since the previous period studied. The 2017 study also found that the most severe collisions during the last period can be attributed to incidents involving pedestrians and cyclists, while the second-most severe type of collision was head-on collisions.

The ninth annual Safe Driving Study, released today, examines the collision data of Allstate Canada customers in Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. The data is used to rank communities in the provinces studied according to their collision frequency rate. Of the 93 communities included in this year’s report, Northern Ontario’s Hanmer takes the top spot as the safest in Canada, with a collision frequency rate of 3.65 per cent. For the third consecutive year, Halifax is the community with the highest collision frequency rate, at 7.90 per cent.

“While it’s encouraging to see that a number of regions across Canada are showing a decrease in collision frequency, we find it troubling that our 2017 Safe Driving Study is showing an overall increase in collisions, especially as the most severe collisions are involving cyclists and pedestrians,” says David MacInnis, PhD, Vice President, Product Operations at Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. “These results show there is still a lot of work to be done to help reduce collisions, especially as we head into what is typically the most dangerous driving season of the year.”

Attention Editors: Please see below for a collection of safe driving tips for drivers. See how your community performs in this year’s Allstate Canada Safe Driving Study, click here.

Highlights of the 2017 Safe Driving Study
While there is an overall rise in the frequency of collisions across Canada, Ontario is responsible for driving the overall rise in claims.

Though Halifax once again claimed the highest collision frequency rate of all communities studied, Nova Scotia’s provincial collision frequency rate significantly improved, seeing a decrease in collision frequency to 4.1 per cent.

Alberta also saw a decrease in its frequency of collisions, dropping 5.7 per cent from the previous year. The province with the lowest collision frequency is New Brunswick, which saw a 6.5 per cent decrease in collisions.

Collisions Involving Pedestrians and Cyclists Most Severe
In addition to examining the frequency of collisions, the Safe Driving Study also investigates which types of collisions are found to be the most common and those that are most severe. Allstate data shows that nationally, the most severe types of collision claims involve pedestrians or cyclists. In Alberta, New Brunswick and Ontario, the second-highest type, in terms of severity, was head-on collisions between two or more cars, while the second-highest in Nova Scotia was collisions that occur while turning or in an intersection.

“It’s clear that in many communities across Canada, collisions involving those walking or cycling happen far too often,” says MacInnis. “Our study reinforces the need to talk about what can be done to help reduce these collisions to improve the safety of everyone using our roads, whether they’re in a vehicle, on a bike or on foot.”

Regional Findings

Ontario
While the collision frequency rate was not the highest in Ontario, it was the only province to report an overall increase in its collision frequency rate – up 4.7 per cent since last year. Regionally, this was driven by Metro Toronto, which saw an increase of 8.5 per cent, followed by Central Ontario at 5.5 per cent.

The five communities with the greatest increase in collision frequency rate were found in southern, central and eastern Ontario. Conversely, Northern Ontario saw a decrease of 5.1 per cent, which is reflected in Hanmer, Ontario, the community that claimed the top spot with the lowest collision frequency rate in Canada, and in Garson, Ontario, which saw the most significant decrease in its collision frequency rate (-37 per cent).

Over the past five years, the day of the year with the highest number of collisions in Ontario is February 12.

Alberta

Not only did Alberta come in as the second safest province with a collision frequency rate of 5.5 per cent, it also experienced a 5.7 per cent reduction in collisions since the last study. In addition, Alberta is home to three of the top five safest markets based on collision claims (Spruce Grove, #2; Lethbridge, #4; and Medicine Hat, #5). The lower-ranking communities in Alberta include Edmonton (65 of 93) and Red Deer (62 of 93).

In Alberta, the day of the year with the most collision claims over the past five years was Christmas EveDecember 24. The most frequent cause of collisions in Alberta are parked cars, followed by rear-end collisions.

Nova Scoti

While Nova Scotia saw an improvement in collision claims (a reduction of 4.1 per cent), Halifax once again ranked at the bottom of the pack, with a 7.9 per cent collision frequency rate (compared to the second-lowest, Ajax, Ontario, at 7.4 per cent).

While the most severe collisions were those involving pedestrians and cyclists, Nova Scotia was also the only province to have its second-most severe collisions connected to turning and intersections. The most common cause of loss is from collisions with a parked car, followed by rear-end collisions. The day of the year with the highest number of collisions over the past five years was February 13.

New Brunswick

Once again, New Brunswick was ranked as the safest province to drive in, with a collision frequency rate of 5.0 per cent – a reduction of 6.5 per cent since the previous study. The safest community was Riverview (#23 of 93), while Moncton ranked at 59 of 93.

The most common cause of loss is from collisions involving parked cars, followed by collisions caused by turning and intersections. In New Brunswick, the day of the year with the highest number of collisions over the past five years was February 17.

“Allstate Canada conducts the Safe Driving Study on an annual basis to generate discussion about what it means to be a safe driver and to help keep roads and communities safer for everyone,” says MacInnis. “While the study can only reflect back on past data, we believe it’s important to share the trends we are seeing, in an effort to promote a national conversation about road safety.”

Tips to help stay safe on the road
Many common collisions can be avoided by paying closer attention and taking steps to be a safe driver. Here are some tips to help share the road more safely:

  • Keep it in park until you’re ready: Adjust your seat to the right position, fix your mirrors, and make sure your passengers are settled and buckled up before putting your car in drive.
  • Know what counts as distracted driving. It’s not only about putting your phone away while behind the wheel. Other distractions that should be avoided include eating and drinking, grooming, putting on makeup, reading maps, changing the music, and more. These should be avoided even while in stop-and-go traffic, at a red light, or on a highway.
  • Be aware of others on the road. Remember to always safely share the road with cyclists and keep a close eye out for pedestrians. Exercise additional caution when in high-traffic areas and at intersections.
  • The volume doesn’t need to be maxed out: When you have music blasting in the car or your passengers are using entertainment devices, it can be hard to focus on the road. Encourage passengers to maintain a volume on their devices that allows you to hear what’s happening outside the car windows, or encourage the use of headphones.
  • Speaking of headphones: While they can be a great idea for your passengers, headphones should not be worn while driving behind the wheel. Doing so will prevent you from hearing noises outside the car or become a distraction when behind the wheel.
  • Invest in winter tires: Safer winter driving includes putting on your snow tires. In some regions they are mandatory between certain calendar dates. Winter tires can grip the road better in cold and snowy weather which will help keep you in control of your car.
  • Don’t drive while impaired: If you are going out and will be under the influence, it is important to have an alternate route home. Take a cab, use public transit or stay at a friend’s house. Don’t let anyone you are with get behind the wheel when they are impaired either.

For more safe driving tips, visit the GOOD HANDS blog at GoodHandsAdvice.ca.

Click here for a PDF with more detailed results, as well as our “Safest City” ranking by community and region.

Click here for regional infographics that illustrate key findings from the Safe Driving Study.

Infographic: Ontario Results

Allstate Canada Safe Driving Study 2017: Ontario findings

Allstate Canada Safe Driving Study 2017: Ontario findings

About the Study

Allstate Canada conducted an in-depth analysis of company collision claims data to determine the safest communities in Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario based on the frequency of collisions. The study spans a 24-month period beginning July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2017. It also offers a comparison to the data from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015. Collision frequency refers to a percentage of vehicles insured by Allstate Canada involved in a collision that resulted in a claim.

To ensure the data provides a realistic outlook for what is happening on roadways, only communities with at least 1,000 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. For this study, a total of 93 communities were included from Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

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 does not include personally identifying information of Allstate customers.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of the country’s leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products, including usage-based insurance, serving Canadians since 1953. The company strives to keep its customers in “Good Hands®” as well as its employees, and has been listed as a Best Employer in Canada for six years in a row. 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), United Way, and Junior Achievement. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit www.allstate.ca. For more safety tips and advice, visit goodhandsadvice.ca.

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