Ontario roads were less safe in 2022 than the previous year, as there was an 11 per cent increase in motor vehicle accident deaths.
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reports there were 359 car accident fatalities in 2022, compared to 315 in 2021.
There was also an increase in collisions – there were 20 per cent more crashes in 2022 than 2021. There were 60,659 collisions in 2021 and 74,172 collisions in 2022.
OPP says one of the main culprits in these deaths is not wearing a seatbelt, which is a “concerning trend,” according to OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt. There were 30 per cent more seatbelt-related deaths in 2022 than 2021. Heavier traffic may also be a factor, as COVID-19 restrictions in 2021 limited traffic on the roads. There were also 64 drug or alcohol-related traffic deaths, which is twice the number from 2021.
According to Schmidt, people riding in the backseat should not think it is safe to ride without their seatbelts on. Data shows wearing seatbelts saves lives. In some cases, wearing a seatbelt prevents occupants from being ejected from the vehicle in a collision. Ejection from a vehicle can result in catastrophic injuries.
While parents are expected to ensure their children wear seat belts, it is important to note that anyone over the age of 16 is responsible for their own actions when it comes to seatbelt use.
Here are some other notable statistics on motor vehicle crashes and motor vehicle crash deaths from OPP:
- Commercial motor vehicle fatalities did not increase in 2022, as there were 87 deaths last year and in 2021
- There was an increase in motorcycle fatalities: 44 in 2022 and 35 in 2021
- Speeding was a factor in 85 fatal crashes in 2022, up from 81 in 2021
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