The latest Allstate Insurance Company of Canada Safe Driving Study reveals that collisions continue to rise in a number of provinces across Canada. Despite improvements in Alberta and New Brunswick, the national collision frequency rate has risen from 5.60 per cent to 5.70 per cent since the previous period, representing a 1.7 per cent increase in claims across the country.
Now in its eighth year, the Safe Driving Study examines collision data of Allstate Canada customers in Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario — which is then used to rank cities across the country according to collision frequency. Of the 86 communities included in the 2016 study, Spruce Grove, AB ranked as the safest, with a collision frequency rate of 3.60 per cent, while the community with the highest regularity of collisions was Halifax, NS, at 7.77 per cent.
“Last year’s Safe Driving Study identified a trend towards rising collisions, and the latest study demonstrates that this has not changed,” says Dave MacInnis, vice president, Product Operations at Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. “Each year, we investigate our claims data to identify important developments in driving. We feel it’s essential to share our findings with Canadians, to encourage conversation about what it means to be a safe driver.”
Highlights of the 2016 Safe Driving Study
Despite an overall hike in the frequency of collisions across Canada, two provinces experienced particularly significant increases. For the second consecutive study, Nova Scotia was the province with the highest collision frequency rate, ballooning from 5.42 per cent to 6.39 per cent, representing an increase of 17.8 per cent since the previous period. Ontario followed suit, jumping from 5.59 per cent to 5.79 per cent. Conversely, New Brunswick was found to be the province with the lowest collision frequency rate at 5.13 per cent.
Allstate data shows that the three most common types of collisions are: vehicles being rear-ended (26 per cent); accidents that occur while passing through an intersection or turning (24 per cent); and collisions involving parked vehicles (13 per cent).
Exercise Increased Caution on Fridays
The latest Safe Driving Study also shed light on which days of the week saw the highest frequency of specific types of collision claims over the past decade. At 17 per cent, Friday is the day with the highest number of collision claims across the country. In fact, Fridays see the highest frequency of collisions spanning nearly all categories, including: multi-vehicle accidents involving a chain reaction (19 per cent of all claims of this type occur on Fridays); lane changes (18 per cent); vehicles being rear-ended (18 per cent); collisions resulting from turning or passing through an intersection (17 per cent); and head-on collisions (17 per cent), amongst others.
“Our latest findings reinforce that Friday continues to be a treacherous day on the road, spanning minor and major collisions – many of which could be avoided,” says MacInnis. “While our data is not able to identify specific reasons as to why collisions are up, or why more take place on Fridays, we suspect that various factors, such as increased traffic, inclement weather, and distracted driving may contribute to the heightened rate of claims.”
Pedestrians and Cyclists— Be Wary of Wednesdays
While the highest frequency of overall collision claims take place on Fridays, the study found that accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists were most likely to occur on Wednesdays, when 17 per cent of these types of collisions have taken place. The second-highest day of the week for collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists was Friday (16 per cent).
“Regardless of the day of the week, it’s always concerning to hear about collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians – and our data shows that there’s work to be done to reduce the frequency of these sorts of accidents,” says MacInnis. “As more cities across Canada are working towards becoming more walkable and bike-friendly, this serves as a reminder to remain alert and take steps to be safer behind the wheel throughout the work week.”
- Ten Albertan communities were included in the 2016 study, with four landing on the list of the top 10 safest cities, including the leader, Spruce Grove, AB (#1, 3.60 percent).
- Three Albertan communities ranked among the top-five that saw the greatest decrease in their collision frequency rate, with Leduc (#11, 4.36 percent) experiencing the most significant decrease with a reduction of 30 percent and St. Albert (#8, 4.22 percent) seeing a reduction of 23 per cent.
- For the second consecutive study, Nova Scotia was the province with the highest frequency of collisions, with a 17.8 percent increase in its collision frequency rate.
- Five communities in Nova Scotia were included in the study: Bedford (#45, 5.67 percent); Dartmouth (#64, 6.28 percent); Hammonds Plains (#67, 6.31 per cent); Lower Sackville (#74, 6.74 percent); and Halifax (#86, 7.77 percent)
- Of the top-five communities that experienced the most significant increase in their collision frequency rates, three of these communities are located in Nova Scotia, with Hammonds Plains seeing the greatest increase at 43 per cent, followed by Lower Sackville at 40 per cent.
- Of the six New Brunswick communities ranked in the study, Rothesay featured the lowest collision frequency rate (#24, 4.97 percent).
- Other communities featured in the study include: Riverview (#32, 5.21 percent); Saint John (#37, 5.37 percent); Dieppe (#40, 5.52 per cent); Fredericton (#51, 5.88 percent); and Moncton (#58, 6.09 percent).
- Six of the ten safest communities in this study are in Ontario, with Val Therese (#3, 3.69 percent) ranking as the safest community in the province.
- Other Ontarian communities included in the top 10 are: LaSalle (#4, 3.80 percent); Chelmsford (#5, 3.86 per cent); Sarnia (#7, 4.09 percent); Belle River (#9, 4.25 percent); and St. Thomas (#10, 4.31 percent).
Source: Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
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