When looking at the statistics in the Canadian Motor Vehicle Collision Statistics Report (2012), the following facts can be noted:
- Since 1993, fatal injuries are down 42% — likely the result of increased seat belt use and the presence of Air Bags in most vehicles.
- Since 2008, driver fatalities have improved almost 5%.
- Since 2008, passenger deaths have been about the same
- Since 2008, pedestrian fatalities have increased about 15%
- Since 2008, bicycle deaths have increased about 35%
The takeaways here are as follows:
- Wear your seat belt at all times while in a car.
- Distracted walking can kill you so be aware of your surroundings
- Bicyclists are frequently hit, so both cyclists and drivers need to be more aware.
But on top of all this, there is more than ever a need for drivers to be more aware of other people on the roads. Pedestrians and cyclists also share the streets with cars, but many drivers seem to be in ignorance of this simple fact. One of the key things that we try to stress and emphasis on our driver education courses is that new drivers be especially careful of what is going on around them. New drivers are more likely to get into accidents because they are less reflexive when driving their vehicles, so they tend to pay more attention to the physical process of driving and less on being aware of their surroundings.
That is one of the true strengths of the graduated licensing system in Ontario, because it puts another set of experienced eyes in the car with a new driver when they are most vulnerable to making mistakes.
Now if they would only make more bike lanes, so bicyclists had fewer encounters with other traffic.