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How Safe Is Driving in Toronto?

Feb. 19, 2019
3 mins
A woman driving her car glances and smiles at her un-pictured passenger

On the whole, driving in Canada has grown safer over the past 20 years, which is good news for first-time car insurance shoppers and everyone on the roads. However, driving on Canadian roads still isn't completely risk-free. In 1998, 3,076 Canadians lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents, according to Transport Canada. In 2016, fatalities totalled 1,898. Fatal crash injuries saw a slight uptick of 2 percent over 2015, but there is some good news in Transport Canada's report: serious injuries were down 4 percent overall, decreasing in the majority of provinces.

Ontario's rate of 4 auto accident fatalities per 100,000 population is lower than the national rate of 5.2 per 100,000 and significantly lower than Alberta at 7.1 or Manitoba, 8.1. Preliminary figures from Ontario's Ministry of Transportation Road Safety Research Office indicate that 2016's rate of crash fatalities may be even lower at 3.45 per 100,000 Ontarians.

Collisions and Casualties

Toronto Police records show that on average over the past 10 years, 54 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents on city roads. Sixty-two Toronto residents died in collisions in 2017, fewer than the 77 who lost their lives in the city in 2016. Toronto's motor vehicle crash fatalities are serious, but at 2.2 per 100,000 population, average less than the province and significantly less than the Canada-wide rate of 5.0 fatalities per 100,000.

These statistics are good news for drivers, especially those seeking car insurance quotes in Toronto, but there is a concerning development on city roads. Less than a third of Toronto residents who lost their lives in crashes in 2017 were behind the wheel. The Toronto Star reported that 43 pedestrians died in motor vehicle crashes in 2017. This is the highest pedestrian death toll since 2005, the oldest year for which city records are available.

Among those killed, older Torontonians suffered the greatest risk. More than half of the pedestrians killed by crashes on Toronto's streets in 2017 were older adults (55+). Among this group, 67 percent were over age 65. The risk to older pedestrians is also being seen in other Canadian cities: Montreal also experienced an increase in serious accidents involving those 65 and over in 2017.

Toronto Is Among the Safest Cities for Drivers

Even in severe weather, Toronto has remarkably safe streets for drivers, although no one wants to see any crash fatalities, whether driver or pedestrian. The city, having recognized the risk to older pedestrians, has approved a road safety plan which will spend $80.3 million over five years to protect older residents, children, and cyclists. The funds will also help to deter other risk factors, including distracted and aggressive driving.

This all equals good news for drivers seeking car insurance quotes in Toronto. The primary causes for crashes in Toronto include factors within a driver's control, like aggressive and distracted driving. Combine safe driving habits with an excellent auto insurance rate from RATESDOTCA.


The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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