Quebec provincial police say there was a 13 per cent increase in fatal accidents on the province's roads in 2015 compared to the previous year.
The report, released Wednesday, comes after the province saw a record low in fatal collisions in 2014.
But Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Jason Allard says the jump last year isn't cause for alarm.
"It's not an exceptional or more dangerous year," Allard said, adding that fatal accidents last year were 10 per cent lower than the average for 2010 to 2014.
Here are the top factors:
- Excess speeding and reckless driving — 26%
- Impaired driving due to alcohol, drugs, or fatigue — 17%
- Distraction at the wheel — 5%
Police say 21 per cent of those who died in fatal crashes were not wearing seat belts.
Allard estimated about half of those victims "would be here today if they were wearing their seatbelt."
Motorcycle deaths up
A closer look at the 2015 numbers shows great strides for some groups and setbacks for others.
Motorcyclists saw their involvement in fatal collisions increase by 30 per cent, while victims ages 16-24 saw a 38 per cent decrease.
While the SQ is still analyzing why the number of fatalities jumped for motorcyclists, Allard says the decrease in young victims could be the result of measures like driving lessons and zero-tolerance for alcohol adding up.
"There's a social response where it is not cool anymore to be drinking and driving, especially at a young age," Allard said.
The SQ says it will continue its efforts to make Quebec roads safer in 2016 through education and prevention efforts, but also says that it cannot achieve this without the help of drivers.
"We need the help of drivers out on the road to be courteous and follow safety regulations," Allard said, "because they're ones who can make the difference."