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 this week, looks at collision claims from Allstate Canada customers across the province, and found Ontario drivers had 3.3% 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% decrease in collision frequency, while Brockville took the top spot as the community with the lowest collision rate (3.06%). 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% decrease, to its collision frequency between the two time periods. Chatham was the third most improved community with a 16.6% 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.%, of fatal collisions. Surprisingly, 79.8% of all fatal collisions in Ontario happen when driving conditions are clear, while 12.8% of fatal collisions happen in rain and 3.7% 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."