Allstate Insurance has released their latest Safe Driving Study, and the results show that collisions are up on average, although it was down in most of the provinces in the study. There's a new city in the top spot for safest in the country, and a repeat offender for the most collisions.
The ninth annual Safe Driving Study looks at Allstate Canada data in Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. Allstate then ranks communities in those provinces by collision frequency rate. That's collision claims per 100 cars. Hanmer, Ontario takes the top spot for the lowest number of collision claims per 100 cars. Just 3.65 per 100, down 10 percent from the last survey, in 2015. That's probably because there isn't much to hit in a bedroom community 30 minutes north of Sudbury. But that starts a theme for safety. The suburbs of a city generally had a lower claim rate than the city proper, often by a significant margin.
Sudbury had 1.5 more claims per 100 cars than Hanmer, although it was still low on the list. The number two city was Spruce Grove, AB. It nearly halved the claim rate of nearby Edmonton. In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the lowest claims in the province were the suburb of a city with the highest.
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Bringing up the rear was Halifax, NS. The city has been at the bottom of the list for the past three years, with 7.9 claims per 100 cars. That's a slight increase over the last study. Just above Halifax were Ajax and North York, both with more collisions than the last study, but in the same positions as before.
New Brunswick is the safest of the four provinces and improved 6.5 percent from the previous study. Nova Scotia was worst, although they did also see a 4.1 percent improvement. The only province in the study with an increase in claims was Ontario, up 4.7 percent. Toronto drove much of that increase, up 8.5 percent.
The best day to drive was Sunday. Sunday drivers might clog the passing lane, but the day has 3.2 fewer claims per 100 than number two Saturday. Friday was the worst day of the week, which will surprise no one who is trying to get home for the weekend.
As far as the safest day of the year, That's Christmas Day in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. Interestingly, July 13th was the safest day in Alberta over the last six years.
From 2006-2011, the highest collision days were all before Christmas. December 23rd in Alberta and New Brunswick, the 22nd in Ontario, and the 17th in NS. From 2012-2017, Christmas Eve was highest in Alberta, but February 12, 13, and 17th were highest in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, respectively.
As to the most common types of collisions, rear-end crashes top that list. One-quarter of all claims came from a rear-ending. Most of the rest were from turning or striking a parked vehicle.
Just two percent of collisions were between a car and a pedestrian or cyclist, but those were by far the most severe. Not surprising, since pedestrians and cyclists have little or no protection in automotive collisions.
Allstate gives some tips for staying safe on the road. The obvious ones are to stop driving impaired and to invest in winter tires, but also to keep the car parked until you're fully ready to drive (translation: send out key texts and messages before heading out). And keep an eye out for pedestrians and cyclists.
If you want to see how your community stacks up, check out the full 93-community list here.