Driver inattention the biggest factor in crash fatalities, OPP say
'The vast majority of the people who have died on our roads did not have to die'
Drawing on 10 years of data from investigations, the Ontario Provincial Police are concluding the majority of fatal collisions on OPP-patrolled roads and highways are a result of poor driving behaviour or driver error.
Police say they can point to four factors: impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding, and not using safety equipment like a seat belt or helmet.
A report issued Monday shows there were 287 deaths from 265 fatal crashes in 2014. According to the OPP, 73 were related to distracted driving, 46 were related to impaired driving, 61 were related to speeding, and 50 were related to not wearing a seat belt or a helmet.
There are other factors in collision fatalities as well, police said, and they include animal-related collisions, a driver being under medical distress, and so on. But those factors are not a part of the majority.
19 people died in collisions investigated by the OPP in the Northwest Region last year, including seven fatalities police classify as inattentive-related.
"As we have said before, regardless of how hard the OPP works to reduce the number of lives lost in road collisions, we cannot do this alone, said deputy commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational Support.
“Ontarians need to understand what we learn from this data, which is that the vast majority of the people who have died on our roads did not have to die.”
Police say they are going to share “detailed collision and fatality data” to help drivers be “more aware than ever that they have the strongest influence of all in putting an end to these deaths.”
The OPP states there has been a relatively steady decline in the number of road collision deaths over the past 10 years and hopes that, with additional public awareness, that number will continue to fall.
Recent OPP data follows: