Some Statistics about Road Safety in Ontario

Some Statistics about Road Safety in Ontario

According to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, there are over 11 million registered vehicles in the province and 9 million drivers.

Do you know that Highway 401 is the busiest highway in North America, and one of the widest and busiest in the world? In Toronto, between Weston Road and Highway 400, the annual average daily traffic reaches up to 500,000 vehicles.

No wonder that the motor vehicle accidents are at the top of the list of potential reasons for personal injury. In Ontario, passenger vehicles make up 76% of the vehicle population and comprise 80% of all vehicles involved in reportable motor vehicle collisions.

Ontario’s roads are among the safest in North America

Road safety is a priority for the Ontario government. As technology, vehicles, and people’s attitudes evolve over time, so do transportation needs and demands. With shifting economic and demographic factors, new road safety challenges can arise.

Ontario’s roads consistently rank among the safest in North America. Over the past 12 years, our province has ranked either first or second among all North American jurisdictions. Ontario can continue to develop new and innovative road safety strategies that will help save lives and keep Ontario’s roads among the safest in the world.

For more than 20 years, Ontario has measured road safety by calculating the number of collision-related fatalities for every 10,000 licensed drivers. In 2010, Ontario’s fatality rate of 0.63 per 10,000 licensed drivers was the second lowest ever recorded in Ontario. Ontario continued to be a road safety leader in North America.

On average, one person is killed on Ontario’s roads every 15 hours.

The Ontario Road Safety Annual Report (ORSAR), 2010

The Ontario Road Safety Annual Report (ORSAR), 2010 is the latest available report from which we have taken some key statistics.

Road safety is a challenge that requires commitment to build on our efforts year after year. We can take pride in milestone achievements, but keep in mind that they are milestones – the challenge is always to do more, to save more lives.

In recent years, the Ontario government has led the way by working with many road safety partners, including police, public health and safety organizations in the public, corporate and not-for-profit sectors. With support from these partners, Ontario has developed and introduced numerous pieces of legislation aimed at making our roads safer each year.

Recent legislation and new measures include:

  • street racing / stunt driving legislation
  • blood Alcohol Content (BAC) warn range sanctions / reduced suspension
  • zero BAC for drivers 21 and under
  • distracted driving legislation
  • speed limiters for large trucks
  • expanded vehicle impoundment program
  • increased penalties for infractions
  • a made-in-Ontario cycling strategy


  • Speeding/Aggressive Driving
  • Distracted Driving and Driver Fatigue
  • Drinking and Driving
  • Young and Novice Drivers

During the last years, motor vehicle collisions were the leading cause of hospital admissions among Ontario youth aged 15 to 24 years and were also the leading cause of emergency room visits for youth aged 15 to 24, after unintentional falls. Canadian drivers aged 16–19 are 15 times more likely to be fatally injured in a collision than 45- to 54-year-olds and three times more likely than drivers aged 75 and over. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death globally among 15- to 19-year-olds and the second leading cause in 10- to 14-year-olds and 20- to 24-year-olds. Male drivers are three times more likely to die in motor vehicle collisions than females.

ORSAR 2010 indicates that our legislation, combined with strong enforcement and education, is achieving positive results. A quick look at some key statistics underlines this continuing success.

Drinking and Driving

Ontario’s drinking and driving fatality rate was 0.17 per 10,000 licensed drivers – a reduction of 76% from 0.72 in 1988. The actual number of drinking and driving fatalities was 160 in 2010.

Speeding / Street Racing / Aggressive Driving

The number of people killed in Ontario in speed-related collisions dropped from 113 in 2009 to 87 in 2010 – a reduction of 23%. Street racers and other drivers who put other road users at risk by driving aggressively now face roadside vehicle impoundment and licence suspensions, and upon conviction face a fine of up to $10,000, a jail term of up to six months, and prolonged licence suspensions.

Senior Drivers’ Fatalities

Fatalities among senior drivers age 80 and over increased from 21 in 2009 to 24 in 2010.

Large Truck Fatalities

Ontario has some of the most stringent truck safety laws in North America. There were 109 fatalities in collisions involving large trucks in 2010, an increase from 99 in 2009. Despite the increase in fatalities, none of the 112 large trucks involved in fatal crashes was found to have safety defects that might have contributed to the crash.

Seat Belts

In 2010, 100 vehicle occupants were killed while not wearing a seat belt — up from 88 in 2009.

Vulnerable Road Users

  • The number of motorcycle rider fatalities increased to 47 from 39 in 2009.
  • Pedestrian fatalities decreased to 95 from 114 in 2009.
  • Bicycling fatalities increased to 18 from 13 in 2009.

Ontario achieved a 32% reduction in fatalities and a 40% reduction in serious injuries during the 2008-2010 period.

Motor Vehicle Convictions

In 2010, nearly 90% of motor vehicle convictions were related to Highway Traffic Act (HTA) offences and 1.4% were related to the Criminal Code of Canada (e.g., drinking and driving, dangerous driving, fail to remain). In the last several years, the number of Administrative Drivers Licence Suspensions (ADLS) for drinking and driving has dropped from about 17,000 to around 16,000 occurrences annually.

Accidentcan happen in a blink of an eye yet the repercussions can last a lifetime. An accident is an unpredictable event, very specific and unusual, that can occur with no apparent and deliberate reason and has a negative outcome. We have to add to the list motor cycles and boats, public transit buses and streetcars, heavy trucks and airplanes. Technical progress allows us to save time by commuting faster. Time is money. But the faster the car, the greater the risk. Almost every one of us has to ride a bus or drive a car to go to work. Even if you work from home you have to do shopping now and then. In fact, our daily traveling is a major cause of personal injuries.

Source: Ontario Ministry of transportation


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