Distracted driving caused most deaths in Ontario last year, say OPP

Sixty-five people died in crashes where inattentive driving was a factor during 2016 - more than drinking and driving, speeding and not using a seat belt.

Inattentive driving was a factor is 65 fatal accidents investigated by the OPP in 2016

Ontario Provincial Police will be focusing on distracted drivers in March. (Getty Images)

Distracted drivers were behind more fatal collisions in Ontario than any other factor, according to provincial police.

In 2016, 65 people were killed in OPP-investigated crashes where inattentive drivers were involved — more than drinking and driving, speeding or collisions where people were not wearing seatbelts for the fourth straight year.

"When young people are needlessly injured or killed as a result of distracted driving, my heart aches," said Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Marie-France Lalonde. "Losing a loved one, losing a child, is one of the worst things imaginable - the text can wait."

Contributing factors for fatal collisions in Ontario:

  • 65 distracted driving
  • 55 speed-related
  • 53 seat-belt related
  • 45 alcohol-related

During March Break the OPP will launch their annual distracted driving campaign and are calling on the public to spread the word that inattentive driving is unacceptable.

"Road deaths linked to distracted drivers will not let up unless every road user says 'enough is enough' and shows a complete intolerance for what continues to be the most life-threatening driver behaviour on our roads," said OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes.