Ontario Road Safety Annual Report (ORSAR) 2010

Foreword

Annual Report 2010

Ontario has among the safest roads in North America.

In 2010, there were 0.63 road fatalities per 10,000 licensed drivers. This was the second lowest rate in North America, and marks the 12th consecutive year that Ontario has had the lowest or second-lowest fatality rate among all jurisdictions in North America.

The number of licensed drivers on our roads increased by more than 143,000 to over 9.2 million in 2010, an increase of 1.6 per cent from 2009.

The number of registered vehicles also increased by nearly 123,000 to over 8.5 million in 2010, an increase of 1.5 per cent.

There has been a long-term decrease in the number of drinking and driving fatalities: a 63.6 per cent decline since 1988.

Recent efforts to reduce fatalities from speed-related collisions in Ontario have resulted in a 23 per cent reduction, from 113 in 2009 to 87 in 2010.

Ontario Road Safety Annual Report 2010

What is the Ontario Road Safety Annual Report (ORSAR)?

On average, one person is killed on Ontario’s roads every 15 hours.

Road safety is a priority for the Ontario government. As technology, vehicles, and people’s attitudes evolve over time, so do transportation needs and demands. With shifting economic and demographic factors, new road safety challenges can arise.

ORSAR allows the Ontario government to monitor its progress in improving road safety year-by-year. The report provides valuable data and guides the government as it determines where more effort is required.

ORSAR is used by the Ministry of Transportation, Ontario (MTO) for policy and program analysis and development, road safety research, public education and performance measurement. ORSAR data is also used by road safety and injury prevention organizations, transportation associations, research institutions, police services and other ministries and governments.

To help the government address and meet new challenges, ORSAR provides valuable insights about long-term and emerging trends in Ontario and across other jurisdictions in North America.

To produce ORSAR, MTO collects data from several different sources, including police services, other ministries, and the Office of the Chief Coroner.

Ontario’s roads consistently rank among the safest in North America. Over the past 12 years, our province has ranked either first or second among all North American jurisdictions. By continuing to work with our road safety partners and monitoring trends captured in ORSAR, Ontario can continue to develop new and innovative road safety strategies that will help save lives and keep Ontario’s roads among the safest in the world.

Key Road Safety Findings for Ontario in 2010

For more than 20 years, Ontario has measured road safety by calculating the number of collision-related fatalities for every 10,000 licensed drivers.

In Ontario, the fatality rate per 10,000 licensed drivers in 2010 was 0.63 – one of the lowest ever recorded. The actual number of fatalities was 579. This is the second-lowest number of fatalities since 1944.

The fatality rate places Ontario second in all of North America in the number of road fatalities. Ontario has now ranked first or second for 12 years in a row.


Road Safety in Ontario: 2009 vs 2010
Category 2009 2010
Number of Fatalities 564 579
Number of Injuries 62,562 64,514
Fatality Rate per 10,000 Licensed Drivers 0.62 0.63
Injury Rate per 10,000 Licensed Drivers 68.7 69.8

Road Safety in Ontario: Significant Progress Since 2001
Category 2001 2010 Change % Change
Number of Fatalities 845 579 (266) (31.5)
Number of Injuries 81,782 64,514 (17,268) (21.1)
Fatality Rate per 10,000 Licensed Drivers 1.02 0.63 (0.39) (38.2)
Injury Rate per 10,000 Licensed Drivers 98.9 69.8 (29.1) (29.4)

Top Priority Road Safety Issues

Road safety is a challenge that requires commitment to build on our efforts year after year. We can take pride in milestone achievements, but keep in mind that they are milestones – the challenge is always to do more, to save more lives.

In recent years, the Ontario government has led the way by working with many road safety partners, including police, public health and safety organizations in the public, corporate and not-for-profit sectors. With support from these partners, Ontario has developed and introduced numerous pieces of legislation aimed at making our roads safer each year.

Recent legislation and new measures include:

  • street racing / stunt driving legislation
  • blood Alcohol Content (BAC) warn range sanctions / reduced suspension
  • zero BAC for drivers 21 and under
  • distracted driving legislation
  • speed limiters for large trucks
  • expanded vehicle impoundment program
  • increased penalties for infractions
  • a made-in-Ontario cycling strategy

ORSAR 2010 indicates that our legislation, combined with strong enforcement and education, is achieving positive results. A quick look at some key statistics underlines this continuing success.


Drinking and Driving

Ontario’s drinking and driving fatality rate was 0.17 per 10,000 licensed drivers – a reduction of 76 per cent from 0.72 in 1988. The actual number of drinking and driving fatalities was 160 in 2010.


Speeding / Street Racing / Aggressive Driving

The number of people killed in Ontario in speed-related collisions dropped from 113 in 2009 to 87 in 2010 – a reduction of 23 per cent.

Street racers and other drivers who put other road users at risk by driving aggressively now face roadside vehicle impoundment and licence suspensions, and upon conviction face a fine of up to $10,000, a jail term of up to six months, and prolonged licence suspensions.


Senior Drivers’ Fatalities

Fatalities among senior drivers age 80 and over increased from 21 in 2009 to 24 in 2010.


Large Truck Fatalities

Ontario has some of the most stringent truck safety laws in North America.

There were 109 fatalities in collisions involving large trucks in 2010, an increase from 99 in 2009.

Despite the increase in fatalities, none of the 112 large trucks involved in fatal crashes was found to have safety defects that might have contributed to the crash.


Seat Belts

In 2010, 100 vehicle occupants were killed while not wearing a seat belt — up from 88 in 2009.


Vulnerable Road Users

The number of motorcycle rider fatalities increased to 47 from 39 in 2009.

Pedestrian fatalities decreased to 95 from 114 in 2009.

Bicycling fatalities increased to 18 from 13 in 2009.


Road Safety Vision 2010: Ontario’s Progress

The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators Road Safety Vision 2010 is a national effort that aims to make Canada’s roads the safest in the world. Its road safety targets were officially endorsed by all ministers responsible for transportation and highway safety in 2000. The Vision provides Canada's road safety community with benchmarks to help develop new strategies and measure intervention efforts.


The national target set by Road Safety Vision 2010 was a 30-per-cent decrease in the average number of road fatalities or serious injuries during the 2008-10 period compared to the baseline period of 1996-2001.

Ontario achieved a 32 per cent reduction in fatalities and a 40 per cent reduction in serious injuries during the 2008-2010 period.

Road Safety: Ontario Progress on Targets set by Road Safety Vision
Categories Baseline Average Target 2008 2009 2010 2008-2010 Averaege
Fatalities 874 612 631 564 579 591
Serious Injuries 4,507 3,115 2,942 2,603 2,558 2,701

Looking Ahead: Next Steps

For 12 years in a row, Ontario has ranked first or second in North America as the jurisdiction with the lowest number of road fatalities per 10,000 licensed drivers. The province has also achieved target reductions in fatalities and serious injuries, despite annual increases in the number of licensed drivers.

Road safety is a challenge that evolves with growing populations, new technologies and urban and rural development. The future brings with it new priorities that we are committed to address. These include:

  • drug-impaired driving
  • sharing the road with vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists
  • senior drivers and driver fitness in light of an aging population and health issues
  • all-terrain vehicle safety

New approaches to improving road safety could include:

  • automated speed enforcement
  • encouraging and enabling a greater use of technology
  • incentive programs such as reduced penalties for drivers who take part in monitoring/remediation programs

Social marketing has been an important means to educate the public and help save lives. It aims to change behaviours and change attitudes, to promote safety awareness and make our streets safer.

Studies show road safety marketing campaigns result in a 12 per cent reduction in collisions. Ontario aims to be among the many jurisdictions that emphasize proactive, preventative measures, particularly education and awareness initiatives that reduce risky driving behaviour.

Conclusion

The statistics confirm that Ontario is a world leader in road safety.

ORSAR 2010 shows that our efforts have been paying off, and many milestones have been achieved. As we review the findings of this year’s report, we will continue to work with our partners to achieve more milestones, and save more lives. There is room for improvement, and we pledge to be vigilant in facing the challenges ahead.

Key Road Safety Statistical Trends

 

This bar graph shows the number of fatalities and the number of licensed drivers by year.

Between 1980 and 2010, the number of licensed drivers increased by 85 per cent. In contrast, the number of fatalities decreased by 62 per cent over this period.

This bar graph shows the number of minor and major injuries by year and the rate of injuries per 10,000 licensed drivers.

In 2010, 64,514 people were injured (including major, minor and minimal injuries) in motor vehicle crashes, 36,853 fewer than in 1980. This puts the number of injuries on the province’s roadways among its lowest level since 1965.

Fatality and Injury Trends for Different Age Groups

This bar graph shows the number of fatalities and injuries among children aged 0-9 by year.

Between 1990 and 2010, the number of traffic fatalities and injuries among children aged 0-9 has dropped steadily, leading to an overall decline of 65 per cent.

This bar graph shows the number of 16-19 year old drivers killed and injured by year, and the casualty rate (deaths and injuries) per 10,000 licensed drivers.

Both the number and per licensed drivers rate of 16-19 year old driver casualties (deaths or injuries) have declined, with a 61 per cent decrease in the number killed/injured and a 74 per cent decline in the casualty rate since 1990. Over the time period 1990-2010, the number of licensed drivers aged 16-19 increased by 48 per cent, from 322,542 to 478,342.

This bar graph shows the number of drivers, aged 65 and over, killed and injured by year, and the casualties rate (deaths and injuries) per 10,000 licensed drivers.

The number of drivers aged 65 and over killed and injured has increased since 1990. However, the population of drivers age 65 and over has been increasing more rapidly, therefore, the casualty rate per 10,000 licensed drivers has decreased by 41 per cent.

Large Trucks

This bar graph shows the number of fatalities in large truck collisions by year, and the fatality rate by number of large trucks registered in Ontario.

Ontario’s data shows that despite an increase of 64 per cent in the number of large trucks registered in Ontario, the number of large truck fatalities decreased from 197 in 1990 to 109 in 2010, down 45 per cent.

Drinking and Driving

This bar graph shows the number of drinking and driving fatalities by year, and the fatality rate per 10,000 licensed drivers.

Both the number of drinking and driving fatalities and the rate per 10,000 licensed drivers have declined dramatically from 1990, by 54 per cent and 68 per cent respectively.

Vulnerable Road Users

This bar graph shows the number of motorcycle fatalities (riders and passengers) by year, and the fatality rate per 10,000 motorcycle registered in Ontario.

Motorcycle registrations increased 5 per cent from 200,810 in 2009 to 211,536 in 2010. At the same time, motorcycle rider fatalities increased from 39 in 2009 to 47 in 2010. Over the long term, between 1990 and 2010, there has been a 64 per cent decline in the fatality rate per 10,000 motorcycle registrations.

This bar graph shows the number of bicycle fatalities and serious injuries by year.

Between 1990 and 2010, the number of bicycle rider fatalities fluctuated between a high of 36 in 1998 and a low of 9 in 2000. There were 18 bicycle rider fatalities in 2010.

This bar graph shows the number of pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries by year.

Between 1990 and 2010, the number of pedestrian fatalities was highest in 1991 with 157, and reached its lowest level in decades in 2008 with 94. The number of pedestarian fatalities decreased from 114 in 2009 to 95 in 2010, down by 17 per cent. However, the number of pedestrian serious injuries increased from 397 in 2009 to 420 in 2010, up 6 per cent.

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