Most deadly crashes in Hamilton happen in dry conditions during daylight: report

Hamilton's second annual collision report shows that most collisions happen during the day and in clear weather. The same goes for fatal crashes.

4 of 5 deadly crashes in Hamilton involving a turning vehicle happened in daylight

The city's second annual review of collisions unpacks details for crashes on Hamilton roadways. (J.P. Moczulski/Canadian Press)

Most fatal crashes on Hamilton roadways don't happen in stormy weather or the dark — instead, they mostly happen in dry conditions and in broad daylight. 

The same goes for all motor vehicle collisions in Hamilton. According to the city, crashes in the past five years happened at an average of 69 per cent during daylight hours and 80 per cent in clear weather. 

The statistics are revealed in the city's second annual review of collisions in Hamilton — a collaboration between public works, Hamilton police services, the fire department, and public health as part of the "Vision Zero" plan to eliminate cyclist and pedestrian deaths.   

The report analyzed crashes from 2014 to 2018 and breaks down the trends. 

Crashes ending in injuries down 20 per cent

In 2018, crashes mostly happened on a Friday, and peaked between the hours of 4 to 5 p.m. January and November saw the highest number of collisions, with fender benders being the most common type of crash. The most frequent "driver action" that caused the crashes was loss of control.   

The report also shows that while the number of crashes rose to a total of 9,281 in 2018, the number of crashes specifically resulting in injuries dropped by 20 per cent over the years. 

The city said crashes seem to be rising due to more "self-reporting" of minor collisions — meanwhile, police-reported crashes have gone down. 

They've dropped, the city says, because of safety campaigns and safety measures, like red light cameras. 

Between 2013 and 2017, the city estimates that crashes cost an average of $388 million each year.

Half of the 245 crashes in Hamilton in 2018 involving pedestrians happened at intersections with signals.  (Dale Molnar/CBC)

There were 11 fatal crashes in Hamilton in 2018 — 10 of these were during clear weather, with eight happening on dry roadways. 

Around 45 per cent of the deaths involved turning vehicles, with four of five of them happening in daylight. 

The city said the number of fatal crashes has stayed "relatively constant" since 2014. 

Here are some other findings: 

  • Most fatal crashes happen on urban roadways.
  • Half of the 245 crashes involving pedestrians happened at intersections with signals. 
  • More than half of pedestrians had the right-of-way when crashes occurred. 
  • There were 166 crashes involving cyclists, with the majority happening at places with no traffic control. 
  • Nearly half of cyclist collisions found that the cyclist was driving properly. 
  • Speed-related collisions and crashes where the driver lost control are highest in January. 
  • The intersection with the highest number of collisions in 2018 was James St. and Main St. 

Linc and Red Hill Valley Parkway

The report devotes two of 13 sections to crashes that happen on the Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway and Red Hill Valley Parkway (RHVP).

It comes after it was revealed in February that a 2013 report from Tradewind Scientific showing parts of the deadly highway were below UK safety standards for friction and in some cases, well below, was kept under wraps for six years.

The city has since apologized, expedited resurfacing of the road and made safety upgrades. It's also spending millions on a judicial inquiry into how the report remained buried for so long.

In the past five years, the number of crashes on the RHVP has increased by 100 per cent and increased by 32 per cent on the Linc, according to the collision review. The city says that these increases are also influenced by a huge rise in the rates of self-reporting. 

Around 64 per cent of crashes on the Red Hill Valley Parkway happened when the road surface was wet. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

On the Linc, most people were following too closely, with fender benders being most popular. They mostly happened on dry roadways. 

And on the RHVP, most people lost control of their vehicle, with 64 per cent of crashes happening under wet roadway conditions. Single motor vehicle collisions were most common. 

The report does not include provincially controlled roadways, like the QEW, and private property collisions.


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