Ontario: OPP Reports Fewer Crashes, More Deaths in 2015


Don't drink and drive. The consequences may be more than anyone is prepared to handle. The province spends $2.4-million annually on R.I.D.E., an amount that was doubled from $1.2 million in 2007-08. Stops have risen accordingly, from 505,733 in 2007-08 to 1,016,786 in 2011/12. Police laid 693 impaired charges, up from 652 in 2010-11 and 294 in 2009-10.
Impaired driving deaths were at their lowest level in more than 10 years on Ontario highways. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are seeing both positive and negative indicators of driver behaviour when it compares its 2015 collision data to 2014. The data also reveals how driver behaviour contributed to the 260 fatal motor vehicle collisions that occurred on OPP-patrolled roads and highways last year.


Road deaths up but all “Big Four” categories down

According to the data, 299 people were killed in road collisions in OPP jurisdiction in 2015, compared to 288 in 2014.

Every year, the “Big Four” account for the majority of deaths on OPP-patrolled roads and 2015 was no exception. These are deaths preventable road deaths associated with alcohol/drug use, inattentive driving speeding and not wearing seat belts.

The Ontario Provincial Police report that there are more deaths on Ontario highways related to distracted driving, than drinking/drugged driving. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
The Ontario Provincial Police report that there are more deaths on Ontario highways related to distracted driving, than drinking/drugged driving. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

How the numbers stack up (all data applies to OPP jurisdiction only).

Big Four Fatality Category2015 Deaths2014 Deaths
Alcohol/drug related4552
No seat-belt-related5153

Some positive news

The OPP are encouraged to see that all of the Big Four-related road deaths were down in 2015 when compared to 2014.  Last year also marks the lowest number of alcohol/drug related deaths in more than ten years and the lowest number of inattentive-related road deaths since Ontario introduced distracted driving laws in 2009.

How the Big Four road fatalities can be down when overall road fatalities are up

Tragically, last year there were more road crashes in which more than one life was lost, than in the previous year. In 2015, there were four times as many crashes in which three people died and sadly, one of the collisions claimed the lives of four people (see detailed data below).

Transport truck and motorcycle-related deaths  

In 2015, 71 people died in collisions involving large commercial transport trucks, compared to 66 in 2014. Sadly, 2015 marked the highest number of transport truck-related road deaths in the last eight years (since 2007).

Motorcyclists were the only road user class that did not see an increase in fatalities in 2015, however the decrease was minimal, with one less fatality in 2015 (31) than in 2014 (32).

According to statistics released Tuesday, Ontario Provincial Police laid 573 impaired driving charges over the course of their holiday RIDE campaign, which ran from Nov. 23 to Jan. 2. That’s compared to the 593 charges that were laid for impaired driving offences during last year’s holiday RIDE campaign.
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) cruiser. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Most collision categories down

The OPP responded to 69,469 road collisions in 2015, compared to 75,644 in 2014.

Large commercial transport trucks were involved in 5,373 collisions in 2015, compared to 6,307 in 2014.

Collisions that involved motorcycles were up, with 838 collisions in 2015, compared to 803 in 2014. (See below for more detailed collision data).

OPP Traffic Safety Senior Command weighs in on the data

“The OPP are concerned that more people died in road crashes in 2015 than in the previous year. We are encouraged to see lower numbers in all of the Big Four fatality causal factor categories, but we need to see drivers keep this downward trend going. There is no worse place to take risks, exercise poor judgement and make mistakes than behind the wheel,” said OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational Support.

No one wants to observe a vehicle crash on the highway. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
No one wants to observe a vehicle crash on the highway. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

“When we reflect on our 2015 road fatality data, there is a much bigger picture that goes beyond those who tragically lost their lives. The devastation and grief that unfold following the death of a human being, let alone multiple human beings in a road crash can resonate across an entire community and have a tremendous impact on the well-being of that community,” said OPP Chief Superintendent Chuck Cox, Commander of the Highway Safety Division.

Cox explained that the burden of physical and emotional injury on those who survive a fatal road crash is extensive.  Every year, thousands of people of all ages involved in these collisions are seriously injured and hospitalized. Many require long-term physical and psychological rehabilitation after surviving such a violent, catastrophic and traumatizing ordeal. For some, the suffering lasts a lifetime.

One of the OPP’s goals is to eliminate preventable injuries and deaths on Ontario roads and, in collaboration with its road safety partners, contribute towards Canada’s Road Safety Strategy to make Canada’s roads the safest in the world.

Fatal Motor Vehicle Collisions20142015
Number of Fatal Collisions266260
Persons Killed288299
Persons Killed – Alcohol/drug-related5245
Persons Killed – Inattentive-related8269
Persons Killed – Speed-related6461
Persons Killed – No seatbelt/helmet5351
Motor Vehicle Collisions20142015
Motor Vehicle Collisions Involving Large Commercial Transport Trucks20142015
Number of Collisions6,3075,373
Number of Fatal Collisions5956
Persons Killed6671
Number of TT Drivers Killed410
Motor Vehicle Collisions Involving Motorcycles20142015
Number of Collisions803838
Number of Fatal Collisions3127
Persons Killed3231
Motor Vehicle Collisions – Animal Related20142015
Number of Collisions11,50810,288
Number of Fatal Collisions25
Persons Killed25
Other Contributing Factor Categories of Fatalities2014 Deaths2015 Deaths
Fail to Share/Yield6160
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