Motor vehicle fatalities along Ontario roads at a 10-year high

(Photo courtesy of OPP)

Careless driving habits have led to over 100 fatalities along roads patrolled by the OPP so far this year.

According to new statistics released by the Ontario Provincial Police, the motor vehicle fatality rate in the province has reached a high not seen since the spring of 2012. As of the second week of May, the OPP has reported 107 deaths, most of which resulted from poor driving habits, according to police.

“The data is the latest reminder to road users that they are sharing the road with drivers who see the risks they take behind the wheel as inconsequential to themselves and those around them – something every Ontarian should take seriously,” a release from the OPP read.

Deaths linked to inattentive driving are up 79 per cent over the same period of time last year, with 25 lives lost to date. There were only 14 deaths last year at this time. Additionally, the OPP reported the number of impaired driving-related fatalities are also up by 36 per cent, with 15 people killed over last year’s 11 deaths at this time.

While speeding continues to be a preventable cause in fatal crashes, the number of deaths relating to speed are not far from last year’s mark. OPP has reported 27 speed-related fatalities so far this year and 15 seat belt deaths, marking a slight increase from last year.

“Unsafe drivers as well as passengers (and drivers) who don’t buckle up are setting the stage for an exceptionally tragic year on OPP-patrolled roads,” the release read.

May 17-23 marks Canada Road Safety Week. During the campaign the OPP said it plans to conduct “robust” enforcement and education around inattentive driving, speeding/aggressive driving, impaired driving and other risky road behaviours.

OPP officials are also encouraging motorists to maintain good driving habits that align with this year’s “Safer You. Safer Me” theme, which emphasizes that decisions made behind the wheel affect passengers and all other road users.

Earlier this month, OPP also released data regarding the number of fatal motorcycle crashes reported provincially over the last decade.