Thanksgiving motor vehicle collisions on OPP highways up from last year

As Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers prepare to police some of the heaviest traffic volumes of the year, they are reporting 216 fatal motor vehicle collisions that have claimed the lives of 239 people so far this year.

Heading into the Thanksgiving Long Weekend, motor vehicle collisions on OPP-patrolled roads sit at 53,036, up from last year when collisions had reached 52,676 by this time.

Again this year, preventable deaths account for a significant number of the fatalities. Speed is the lead causal factor to date with 46 deaths attributed to this aggressive driving behaviour. Lack of seat belt use among drivers and passengers accounts for 44 fatalities. Driver inattention has been linked to 42 deaths and 33 people died in crashes that involved alcohol and/or drugs.

Drivers account for the 162 of those who died, 53 of the deceased were passengers while pedestrians account for 24 of the deaths. Those who are travelling by motor vehicle this weekend should take note that Friday is the day of the week that marks the highest number of road deaths this year (42), followed by Saturday (37), Sunday (36) and Monday (33).

Sadly, many innocent people of all ages pay the price with their lives because of drivers who ignore their responsibility to share the road safely. Before you head out this Thanksgiving Long Weekend, as a driver, please remember that every motorist, passenger, pedestrian and cyclist has the right to be safe and that safe roads start with you. As a passenger, always remember to wear your seat belt,” says Deputy Commissioner Rose DiMarco, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support.

Heavier traffic on the roads over the long-weekend is expected and motorists are reminded to drive sober, stay focused and be patient to ensure everyone has a safe and happy holiday.