January 2011

Road deaths fall to lowest level in 60 years

Canada has recorded the fewest traffic deaths in almost 60 years, Transport Canada said in a Jan. 26 news release. In 2008, 2,419 people died on the roads, down 12% from the year before. About 54% were motor vehicle drivers, 20% were passengers, 12% were pedestrians, 9% were motorcyclists and fewer than 2% were bicyclists. A number of injury prevention measures may be contributing to the steady decline in traffic deaths and serious injuries, including graduated driver licensing laws, safer vehicles and better awareness of the risks of driver distraction issues. "The decline in deaths from road collisions is very encouraging, but the number of people affected is still too high,” said Chuck Strahl, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, in the release. “Everyone has a role to play for improving road safety. Canadians can take simple actions and decisions to make our roads safer." The statistics suggest there is still obvious room for improvement. For example, 35% of the vehicle drivers killed and 38% of the passengers who died were not wearing seatbelts. As well, about 38% of the drivers who died and were tested for blood alcohol content had been drinking, with over half of them with results at least double the legal limit of .008.

See the full report, Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics: 2008, on Transport Canada's website.

Updated January 26, 2011