When looking at the statistics in the Canadian Motor Vehicle Collision Statistics Report (2012), the following facts can be noted:
- Since 2008, passenger deaths have been pretty much the same
- Since 2008, pedestrian fatalities have increased 15% or so
- Since 2008, bicycle deaths have increased almost 35%
- Since 1993, fatalities are down 42% — probably because of air bags and the increased seat belts.
- Since 2008, driver fatalities have improved almost 5%.
The takeaways here are as follows:
- Wear your seat belt anytime you are in a vehicle.
- Distracted walking is as deadly as distracted driving
- Bicyclists are often struck, so cyclists and drivers need to be vigilant.
There is also a need for drivers to be more aware of other people using the roads. Pedestrians and cyclists also share the streets with cars, but many drivers seem to be in ignorance of this simple fact. New drivers are more likely to get into accidents because they are less reflexive when driving their vehicles. They tend to pay more attention to the physical process of driving and less on being aware of their surroundings. One of the key things that we emphasize in our driver education courses is that new drivers be especially mindful of what is going on around them.
One of the true strengths of the graduated licensing system in Ontario, is that it puts another set of qualified eyes in a vehicle with a new driver when they are most likely to make a costly mistake.
Now we just need more bicycle lanes — but that will be another article.