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Hamilton ranks fourth for pedestrian deaths in Ontario, study says

If you are male you should be very careful on Thursdays in January between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m.
A study says the most dangerous time for pedestrians is in the winter. (Flannery Dean/CBC)

The city of Hamilton ranks number four out of 10 cities in Ontario when it comes to pedestrian deaths in Ontario, according to the Pedestrian Death Review released by the Chief Coroner of Ontario.

From 2000 to 2009, 46 pedestrians were killed in Hamilton.

Toronto was No. 1 on the list, with 308 fatalities. Mississauga was No. 2 with 56 deaths, while Ottawa came in at No. 3 with 54 fatalities.

The full report is online

The report outlined the factors that contribute to accidental collisions resulting in pedestrian deaths and made 26 recommendations to improve road safety and prevent future fatalities

Some of the factors the report found that contributed to pedestrian deaths were:

Time of year

Pedestrian deaths are more likely to occur between November and March, when daylight is shorter.

In 2010, January was singled out at the month in which the most pedestrian deaths occurred in Ontario.

More than half of all deaths (55 per cent) occur between January and March.

Location

Collisions are more likely in urban areas, at 76 per cent. But the ratio of fatalities to injuries to deaths is higher in rural areas. The explanation for this: drivers are often travelling at higher speeds in rural areas.

Type of crossing

Mid-block crossings, where pedestrians cross in the middle of a street rather than at a crosswalk, account for 31 per cent of deaths.  

Time of day

Fifty per cent of pedestrian deaths occur between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. The report also found that fatal accidents were more likely during Monday to Friday, when traffic is heaviest. Deaths occurred more frequently on a Thursday.

Age

Adults are more likely to be struck and killed while crossing the street than children, who only account for 3 per cent of fatalities. Those age 35 to 64 account for 42 per cent of fatalities; those 65 and over account 36 per cent. Seniors are considered the most vulnerable to collisions, however, as they account for only 13 per cent of the population. 

Sex

Male pedestrians are more likely to be killed than females, with 55 per cent of pedestrian deaths being male and 45 per cent of deaths being female. Male drivers are at increased risk for killing a pedestrian, with 67 per cent of fatalities involving male drivers. 

Some of the review's recommendations for preventing deaths and improving safety include:

More pedestrian friendly streets, with extended, bulb-out sidewalks that narrow the streets, pedestrian crossing 'islands' and raised crosswalks, centre medians and audible pedestrian crossing signals.  

The report also encouraged municipalities to develop their own walking strategies for citizens that put a premium on convenience, health and safety.

Hamilton does have a Pedestrian Mobility Master Plan. The study, which was initiated in 2011 and is ongoing, aims to increase walking as a mode of transportation and recreation in Hamilton over the next two decades (2031).

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