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25 Car Accident Statistics in Canada

Very few people realize that driving represents one of the world’s most dangerous activities that hundreds of millions of people conduct on a daily basis. After all, according to the WHO, roughly 1.35 million people die annually as a result of traffic accidents. 

Similarly, 20-50 million people are physically injured because of roadside crashes, whereas tens of millions of accidents occur with only material damages, as reported by car accident statistics. 

So far, numerous research has been carried out to help reduce the number of car crash fatalities and injuries throughout the world. Lots of work is still needed as we create safer roads where drivers, cyclists, car passengers, and pedestrians can rest assured that their safety is taken care of. 

This article will focus on highlighting some of the main car accident statistics in Canada to help paint a clearer picture of how safe the roads are in this country and how common accidents actually are. As such, some of the main topics that we will be discussing include but are not limited to, accident trends, crash statistics by regions, auto vs. motorcycle stats, gender-related data, and more. 

With this in mind, the main purpose of our article is to encourage deep thought on the matter, in hopes that experts would find smarter solutions to help reduce the number of car accidents.

Of course, we cannot ignore the rapid development of self-driving vehicles. However, their reign isn’t due yet, granted that it will likely take several decades before human-driven cars are replaced completely. But even then, crashes would be inevitable. 

That said, additional discussion on the ethics and regulations of autonomous vehicles is desperately required.

Five Must-Know Car Accident Statistics (Editor’s Pick)

  • Compared to data from 2016, the number of severe injuries in accidents decreased by 7.4% in 2017
  • In 2013, 198 Canadian motorcyclists were involved in an accident fatality on public roads
  • 27% of fatalities that occur on Canadian roads are a direct result of speeding
  • Distracted driving increases the risk of going through a car crash by 500%
  • In 2008, 40% of drivers who died as a result of a car crash consumed alcohol before going behind the wheel.

Recent Car Accident Trends in Canada

1. Compared to 2016 data, the number of accident fatalities decreased by 2.8% in 2017.

That said, we can assume that efforts meant to reduce the occurrence of accident fatalities are paying off, and the current trends are looking good. To be more precise, 1,841 fatalities happened in 2017, compared to 1,895 in 2016.

In other words, in 2017, five fatalities occurred per 100,000 people, which is a record for Canada. Recent Ottawa car accidents also support this claim. However, this decrease isn’t too drastic, thus showcasing that further efforts are still required. The goal here is to reduce fatalities to zero, which is going to be a true challenge.

Source: Government of Canada

2. Compared to data from 2016, the number of severe injuries in accidents decreased by 7.4% in 2017.

Based on this, it isn’t only the number of fatal car accidents that has reduced, but also the number of severe injuries. In this case, we can observe a sharper decline, which is great news for roadside safety. Statistics showcase that 9,960 severe injuries took place in 2017, as compared to 10,760 in 2016.

Source: Government of Canada

3. Long-term trends suggest that both car fatalities and severe injuries have actively decreased over the last couple of years.

Here are some numbers meant to help put these traffic statistics into perspective:

Year Fatal Collisions Severe injuries
1998 2,583 16,410
2000 2.548 15,581
2008 2,193 12,851
2010 2,021 11,796
2013 1,772 10,661
2015 1,701 10,856
2017 1,679 9,960

Source: Government of Canada

4. According to statistics released by the Canadian Government, the number of injuries as a result of car collisions is also decreasing.

With this in mind, here are some relevant stats meant to better explain the positive trend: 

  • In 2000, 153,290 people suffered injuries as a result of a car crash
  • In 2001, 149,023  people suffered injuries as a result of a car crash
  • In 2005, 145,559 people suffered injuries as a result of a car crash
  • In 2010, 123,615 people suffered injuries as a result of a car crash
  • In 2017, 112,479 people suffered injuries as a result of a car crash.

So what’s causing these reductions in car accident statistics? To put things into perspective, it is important for us to briefly discuss the reasons responsible for this decrease in severe injuries and fatalities. 

Usually, lower numbers are determined by a combination of several factors, including increased awareness about safety procedures to consider in traffic, safer cars with assistance systems, stricter testing for new drivers, and improved infrastructure, as pinpointed by stats on motor vehicle accidents. 

Source: Government of Canada

5. Statistics show that when an accident occurs, it is generally drivers and passengers who suffer most fatalities.

  • In 2013, out of all roadside fatalities, 49.3% were drivers, 18.9% were passengers, 15.7% were pedestrians, and 3.5% were bicyclists
  • In 2015, out of all roadside fatalities, 48.9% were drivers, 19.3% were passengers, 15.8% were pedestrians, and 2.6% were bicyclists
  • In 2017, out of all roadside fatalities, 53.5% were drivers, 16.9% were passengers, 15.4% were pedestrians, and 2% were bicyclists.

Based on this data, we can determine that drivers and passengers expose themselves to the highest risk of roadside fatalities, followed by pedestrians and bicyclists.

Source: Government of Canada

Car Accident Statistics by Province

6. The following table should give readers a better idea of accidents involving cars, fatalities, and injuries on the Canadian roads, by provinces.

Province Fatalities Injuries in crashes Crashes reported to the ICBC
British Columbia, 2017 276 95,000 150,000
Alberta, 2016 273 16,622 133,124
Ontario, 2018 578 49,408 67,580 vehicles involved in personal injury and fatal accidents
Quebec, 2017 359 36,831 28,109

Source: BC Road Safety Stats, Alberta Government, Ontario Government, Montreal Gazette

Auto vs. Motorcycle Accident Statistics

7. In 2013, 198 Canadian motorcyclists were involved in fatal accidents on public roads.

The same source showcases that these numbers tend to oscillate throughout the years. For instance, 190 motorcyclists were involved in a fatal crash in 2014, 208 in 2015, 205 in 2016, and 191 in 2017. Generally, motorcyclists represent 10% of the number of roadside casualties in Canada. 

Source: Government of Canada

8. When compared to driving a car, Canadian motorcyclists are 13.5 times more likely to be involved in a car crash and die as a result. 

People throughout the world are well-aware of the dangers associated with riding a motorcycle. Given the insufficient protection offered by this transportation vehicle, it makes sense that motorcycle deaths in Canada are more common when compared to automobile drivers. Unfortunately, this still doesn’t stop numerous motorcycle fans to enjoy riding one.

Source: Fortnine

9. Reports indicate that motorcycle speed was the main factor contributing to fatalities, causing 12% of deaths.

Similarly, it is well-known that motorcyclists tend to speed. Therefore, 12% of motorcycling deaths are caused by breaking the speed limit.

Source: Fortnine

Traffic Collisions and Gender

10. A report published by the Canadian Government in 2017 showcases that there are 13,36 million male and 12,63 million female drivers.

Based on this statistic, common sense would predict that men are involved in slightly more crashes as compared to women, given that there are more men behind the wheel. Despite this aspect, it is important to point out that men drive considerably more miles when compared to women. 

However, they also tend to engage in riskier driving practices, as opposed to their female counterparts, thus leading to more crashes, as indicated by stats on motor vehicle collision.    

Source: Government of Canada

11. In 2013, 1,493 men died because of a car crash, compared to 679 women during the same year.

With this in mind, this statistic proves the arguments that have been outlined above. Despite the similar number of men and women who drive on Canadian roads, men are indeed more likely to get involved and die in car accidents in Canada. 

Source: StatCan

12. Luckily, numbers are decreasing for both genders. In 2010, 1,718 male and 732 female drivers were involved in a collision.

Based on this aspect, it has been statistically concluded that both genders are now safer when it comes to driving, given the decreasing rates of accidents, the associated fatalities, severe and non-severe injuries, and other similar criteria.

Source: RateLab

Traffic Fatalities in Canada

13. According to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, a staggering 5.2 fatalities occurred per 100,000 people in 2016.

This statistic also showcases that the rate is similar to the ones reported in 2015 and 2014. In contrast, the number of fatalities calculated based on a billion kilometers traveled was situated at 5.1 (which is the same traffic fatalities value as the one reported in 2015).

Source: CACP

14. 27% of fatalities that occur on Canadian roads are a direct result of speeding.

Speed kills – it’s a simple statement, yet millions of people throughout the world choose to disregard it. Similarly, it is also important to note that speeding leads to 19% of severe injuries when driving, so it is often best to lay off the gas and simply respect the speed limit or the general flow of traffic.

Motorcycle statistics for Canada show similar results, so this isn’t only applicable to driving a car.

Source: CACP

15. Speeding-related fatalities are most likely to occur to drivers aged 16-24.

With this in mind, younger drivers are often unaware of the dangers associated with activities like aggressive driving and speeding. A report issued by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police shows that 40% of speeding drivers were aged 16-24, whereas 80% of young adult passengers who were killed in a crash due to speeding were in the car with a similar-aged driver.

Therefore, young adults looking to reduce the likelihood of encountering car accident deaths should make sure neither them nor the driver goes over the speed limit. 

Source: CACP

Statistics on Impaired Driving in Canada

16. In 2014, 16% of accidents leading to a severe injury involved a driver who had been drinking.

The disadvantages of drinking alcohol and driving are well-known, given that inebriation reduces reaction time, creates brain fog, and leads to impulsive and aggressive behavior. Across the world, hundreds of thousands of people die because of drunk drivers. 

Therefore, institutions and governments should do their best to ensure that this practice is ended. Transport Canada statistics do showcase that such actions are already being taken, via regular DUI inspections.

Source: CACP

17. In 2008, 40% of drivers who died as a result of a car crash consumed alcohol before going behind the wheel.

Luckily, things have improved since then, as more and more people became aware of the dangers associated with drunk driving. The same report indicates that 60% of these collisions involved a single vehicle. 

An interesting aspect is that for drunk drivers over the .08 alcohol in blood threshold, 90% of accidents involved only one vehicle, as reported by stats concerning recent car accidents in Alberta. 

Source: CACP

18. In 2018, a report issued by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police showcased that a drug-related driving offense occurs every three hours.

This is yet another issue that needs to be strictly addressed by authorities worldwide, given the fact that accidents produced by drug-impaired drivers are becoming more and more common. 

For instance, a survey concluded that one in four Canadian cannabis users tend to drive while under the influence of the substance. Similarly, drivers operating under this substance are twice as likely to get involved in a traffic collision, as compared to those who drive sober. 

Source: CACP

19. In 2015, a total of 2,786 incidents concerning drivers who were drug-impaired had been reported.

The exact details concerning the number of accidents leading to severe injury or death are not known at this time, yet several hundred people die on a yearly basis because of this practice. 

In regards to gender, it has been reported that men are 2.5 more likely to operate a vehicle while impaired by cannabis when compared to women. Therefore, this also increases the chances for men to get involved in bad car accidents. 

Source: CACP

Statistics Concerning Distracted Driving in Canada

20. A research study conducted by TELUS WISE showcases that distracted driving is bound to slow reaction times by 35%.

This statistic is extremely important for people who have the habit of operating their vehicles while texting or browsing their phones. Of course, this is a punishable offense throughout Canada, yet more educational efforts are required to further curb this practice, which leads to tens of thousands of car accidents.

Source: CACP

21. The same research indicated that distracted driving increases the risk of going through a car crash by 500%.

This is a massive increase when compared to non-distracted driving, and even higher when compared to accident likelihood rates for those who drive while impaired by cannabis and other psychoactive substances. 

Based on this, drivers should be made aware of the huge risks they expose themselves to when driving distracted. After all, the same practice reduces general awareness by 50%, as reported by car accident statistics. 

To put things into perspective, the main distractions associated with accidents include but are not limited to, texting, talking on the phone, reading (either documents or smartphone texts), applying and removing makeup, alongside dialing on smartphones and other handheld devices.

Source: CACP

22. A Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police report has concluded that 20% of fatal collisions are caused by fatigued drivers.

Fatigue is bound to reduce attention, reaction times, and clear thinking while behind the wheel. Based on this, it is no surprise that this represents a contributing factor to many of the accidents that take place on Canadian roads. 

The same report showcases that 60% of drivers have admitted that every once in a while, they drive while under the mental and physical stress caused by fatigue. This is also one of the underlying causes of recent car accidents in Alberta. 

Source: CACP

Other Relevant Accident Statistics

23. In 2018, 22.7% of accidents were the result of one car crashing into another.

On the other hand, it is important to mention that 7.9% of accidents involved one vehicle only. Other causes include but are not limited to, acts of nature, hitting a parked car, hitting a tree, or hitting a pedestrian (although this type is the rarest, given that only 0.4% of accidents occur like this), as reported by stats concerning car accidents in Toronto. 

Source: The Star

24. Drivers aged between 25 and 34 are most likely to be involved in accidents that lead to fatalities or severe injuries.

Based on this, out of all age groups, 25-34-year old drivers account for 18.9% of fatalities, and 21% of severe injuries. Other age groups that have similar risk factors include people older than 65 for fatalities, and those older than 35-44 for severe injuries, as they are also more likely to be involved in car accidents.

Source: Government of Canada

25. Passengers aged 35-44 are most likely to be involved in a car fatality.

With this in mind, 13.5% of passenger fatalities occur for those in this age group. In terms of severe injuries, the 25-34 age group holds the highest risk. On the other hand, passengers aged 0-4 are the least likely to be involved in an accident that leads to death or severe injury. 

This aspect is mostly due to the extra care that drivers exercise while driving with young kids, but also thanks to the added safety provided by car seats designed for children.

Source: Government of Canada

Conclusion

Based on everything that has been outlined so far, we hope that these statistics will help paint a clearer picture regarding the safety of the roads in Canada. Despite the fact that thousands of people still die and are injured on a yearly basis, the numbers are steadily decreasing, thus showcasing the results of the efforts made to reduce roadside fatalities. Similarly, these car accident statistics should also help put the main causes of accidents into perspective, thus contributing to drivers’ education and awareness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many car accidents per year happen in Canada?

A report issued by the Canadian Transportation Safety Board has concluded that at this time, over 300,000 accidents happen every year in Canada. However, this number is not exact, given the fact that numerous accidents only lead to material damages, which is why they are not reported to law enforcement agencies. 

What are the chances of getting into a car accident?

The truth is that the chances are very low, whereas practicing extra care and making sure that you do not go over the speed limit, get distracted, or drive inebriated are factors that reduce the likelihood even further. 

How many people die in car accidents in Canada?

Roughly five out of 100,000 people die in a car accident every year. With this in mind, statistics published by the Government and Transport Authority of Canada indicate that in 2017, 1,841 people died as a result of a car accident.  

What percentage of car accidents are caused by phones?

Around 26% of all accidents that take place in Canada have been reported to involve the use of a smartphone by the driver. In general, distracted driving leads to an even higher number of accidents. 

What is the number of car accidents in Ontario?

In 2015, roughly 40,000 accidents leading to death or severe injury have been reported in the Ontario province

How often does the average person get in a car accident?

Reports indicate that the average person gets into a car crash once every 18 years, although these numbers tend to depend based on a series of factors. 

Tony Arevalo

Hello, My name is Tony Arevalo. I'm the co-founder of Carsurance.net, a complete car insurance site. I've had the pleasure of working with hundreds of clients during my years in the property and car insurance industry, and I’ve developed in-depth knowledge of what clients want and what's best for them. I also have professional experience in the finance sector, specifically in risk analysis and portfolio management. Outside of work, I'm the father to two incredible children, Vincent and Leo`n!

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