OPP: Collisions have claimed 239 lives so far this year

Provincial police are reminding drivers to take care on Ontario roadways as the Thanksgiving weekend is expected to see some of the heaviest traffic volumes of the year.

The deaths comes as police forces across Ontario launch Operation Impact

The Ontario Provincial Police are calling on drivers to stay safe if they're travelling this Thanksgiving weekend.

Provincial police are gearing up to enforce what is expected to be some of the heaviest traffic volumes of the year this Thanksgiving weekend.

Across Ontario, there have been 216 fatal motor vehicle collisions so far this year, leaving 239 people dead. When it comes to total collisions on OPP-patrolled roads, occurrences are up slightly from last year at 53,036 crashes.

Police say speed is the leading factor in vehicle fatalities, with 46 deaths due to aggressive driving. Not wearing a seatbelt left 44 others dead. Distracted driving accounted for 42 fatalities, while impaired driving led to 33 deaths.

Among the 239 people who have died on Ontario roads so far this year, police say 162 were drivers, 53 were passengers and 24 were pedestrians. The stats show that more than 60 per cent of fatalities happened from a Friday to a Monday.

"Sadly, many innocent people of all ages pay the price with their lives because of drivers who ignore their responsibility to share the road safely," said deputy commissioner Rose DiMarco, Provincial Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational Support.

"Before you head out this Thanksgiving Long Weekend, as a driver, please remember that every motorist, passenger, pedestrian and cyclist has the right to be safe and that safe roads start with you. As a passenger, always remember to wear your seat belt."

Operation Impact starts Friday to Monday.