Fewer fatal collisions on Sûreté du Québec territory last year

The number of young people killed in collisions dropped by more than 30 per cent, according to provisional data from the provincial police.

Road safety report suggests 45 victims were not wearing seatbelts

Provincial police spokesperson Joyce Kemp said distracted driving is a big problem on Quebec roads.

Distracted driving is the second most common cause of fatal collisions in Quebec, according to a new report by provincial police.

"This year is the second year that distracted driving is still in second place and has gone over driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or some combination of them both," Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Joyce Kemp said.

She said that in a troubling new trend, deaths because people are not wearing a seatbelt have doubled.

"We will keep working to get people to maintain that habit, or buckling up," she said.

Forty-five victims were not wearing seatbelts last year, compared to 23 in 2017.

Overall, fewer people died on Quebec roads last year compared to the year before.

On the territory served by the Sûreté du Québec, there were 235 fatal collisions in 2018, down from 243 a year earlier.

According to provisional data from its 2018 road safety report, 253 people died in those collisions last year. That's down from 268 in 2017.

Speeding remains the number one cause of fatal collisions in the province, with the SQ estimating it was the probable cause of about a third of collisions last year.

The third most common cause of a fatal collision was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which was the probable cause of eight per cent of the collisions.

A fatal pileup on Highway 20 in the Montérégie region is seen in this file photo. The number of Quebecers killed in collisions on roads covered by provincial police was down in 2018. (CBC)

The SQ said most fatal collisions happen during the day, and that Friday is the deadliest day on Quebec's roads.

While the drop in overall deaths was less than eight per cent from 2017 to 2018, the number of Quebecers ages 16 to 24 killed in collisions dropped by 32 per cent.

Thirty-nine were killed last year, down from 57 a year earlier.

With filed from Matt D'Amours


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