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Fender bender on red carAnnually, approximately 2,209 Canadians get killed in car accidents and in the U.S, a whopping 40,000 get killed in various automobile accidents. Globally, 1.2M people perish in car accidents on an annual basis. What is probably the most alarming is the fact that a large percentage of these accidents are avoidable.

When it comes to Canada, there are definite times of the year during which car crashes take place. The winter months are the most dangerous in this aspects and the holiday season is one more time when more cars tend to go crash, wham, boom.

Winter Hazards

Most auto collisions involving some kind of direct impact with objects or vehicles are more prevalent in the winter months. During these months, Canada has to face ice storms and icy conditions, which results in poor road visibility and the safest of drivers can find their skills being tested in these hazardous weather conditions.

Insurance providers in Canada report a 49% rise in claims related to vehicle collisions from Dec-Jan. On an average, this is a rise from 3.1% and up to 4.7% over the winter months. In this case, the obvious culprits are the weather conditions. Traditionally, Canadians are experts when it comes to driving in snow and ice condition, but the 1st snowfall in the year can pose extreme challenges.

Even the most capable drivers might find themselves in a car accident at some time or the other. Over 1/3rd of all motor accidents are related to things such as damage from weather, hitting parked cars, hitting road debris or animals and vandalism. Take a look at the statistics of the different ways in which car accidents take place:

  • Struck another car- 22.7%
  • Another car struck you- 22.2%
  • A single-car accident- 7.9%
  • Acts of nature- 5.8%
  • Struck a parked car/tree- 5.4%
  • Car was struck while it was parked- 5.0%
  • Debris/other non-accident damage (like hitting a pothole)- 2.9%
  • Struck animal: 2.4%
  • Vandalism- 2.4%
  • Windshield/glass damage: 2.2%
  • Hit a pedestrian: 0.4%

Apart from the weather conditions, there are some common reasons for accidents:

  • Not using/ inadequate Seat Belt & Child Restraint
  • Young/Novice Drivers
  • Aggressive Driving
  • Impaired Driving by Fatigue
  • Alcohol Impaired Driving
  • Vulnerable Road Users
  • Medically-at-risk Drivers
  • Impaired Driving by Drugs- young drivers are increasingly found to be DUI of cannabis. Interestingly, they consider it to a lesser crime in comparison to driving under the influence of alcohol

Distracted Driving

This one is worth a special mention because the despite all the police blitzes and education campaigns, the total number of fatal collisions wherein distraction was cited as the cause, have now seen a 17% rise in Canada over the most-recent 5-year period. As per the Transport Canada’s National Collision Database‚Äôs 2006 to 2010 data, it has increased from 302 deaths and gone up to 352. Most of these distractions are related to mobile devices and somehow, this does not come as a surprise in a day and age when people everywhere are highly-addicted to their smartphones and tablets.

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