Distracted driving contributed to nearly half of fatal collisions over 5 years
Driver distraction is the leading factor in fatal collisions in Hamilton over the past five years, according to a new report presented to Hamilton's police oversight board on Thursday.
There's no one single common factor that led to the 125 total collisions where one or more people died in Hamilton city limits from January 2012 to the end of February 2017.
But in both the crashes on city roads and provincial highways, driver inattention was a common contributing factor. Other top factors were impaired driving and speed.
The report looks at 83 fatal vehicle collisions on Hamilton city roads since 2012, which led to 90 deaths. An additional 42 fatal collisions happened on roadways that are patrolled by the Ontario Provincial Police within city limits.
Of those, eight collisions were on the Lincoln Alexander Expressway and the Red Hill Valley Parkway since 2012. The number of fatal crashes on these roads sparked the request for the report.
On city roads, 48 per cent of the collisions had driver inattention as a contributing factor. (One collision may have more than one contributing factor.)
Intoxicating substances was a contributing factor in 31 per cent of those city-road crashes, and speed was a factor in 32 per cent of those.
For OPP-patrolled roads, 45 per cent of the collisions had distracted driving as a contributing factor. Intoxicating substances was a contributing factor in 9.5 per cent of those highway crashes, and speed was a factor in 9.5 per cent of those.
Police cautioned against looking too closely at the Linc/Red Hill numbers, because the number of crashes is so low comparatively. But among the eight crashes on those roads, driver inattention played a role in 25 per cent of the collisions, intoxicating substances in 25 per cent, and speed played a role in 37 per cent of the collisions.
The report says Hamilton's numbers are below both the provincial and the national averages.