Speed is a factor in approximately 23 per cent of fatal crashes in Canada

National Road Safety Week runs May 18th – 24th

Risk factors are everywhere in our day-to-day lives. Some risks are manageable, some are questionable… and some just simply aren’t worth the risk.

To mark National Road Safety Week, May 18th – 24th, the Canada Safety Council and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want to draw your attention to four specific risks behind the wheel that are deadly, devastating and #NotWorthTheRisk.

“In the context of vehicle safety, there are four types of risks that we see result in injury and fatality far too often,” said Gareth Jones, President and CEO of the Canada Safety Council.

“Speed, distraction, impairment and lack of seatbelt use continue as prevalent issues on Canadian roadways, and moving the needle on road safety means helping people make better discretionary behavioral choices.”


According to the most recent data available from the International Transport Forum Road Safety Data (ITFRSD), speed is a factor in approximately 23 per cent of fatal crashes in Canada, with 40 per cent of the drivers in these cases being between 16 and 24 years of age.

“This campaign is about an honest assessment of risk versus reward when drivers make decisions behind the wheel. In the moment, decisions are generally focused on personal needs and individual assessments of acceptable risk, with little regard or thought to what that could potentially mean for others.

“Canadians must be responsible citizens on Canada’s shared roads,” says Chief Robert Martin, chair of the CACP Traffic Safety Committee.

This should not come as a shock to most drivers, either — a study commissioned by Transport Canada shows that 70 per cent of Canadians admit to exceeding the speed limit at times on residential and rural roads, while 81 per cent admitted to doing so on highways.

Slow down on the roads.

Excessive speeds can be dangerous for you, for your fellow road users, and give everyone involved less time to react to the space around them.

Distracted driving

Any action that takes a driver’s eyes off the road can constitutes distracted driving, though a predominant focus of the issue continues to be device use behind the wheel.

In some parts of Canada, distracted driving fatalities have overtaken impaired driving fatalities — they impact Canadian drivers to the tune of an estimated 20 per cent of all fatal collisions.

Despite the known risks and frequent media attention on the issue, a 2020 CAA poll reported that 47 per cent of Canadians have typed a message or used the voice memo feature behind the wheel.

“It’s our responsibility as conscientious road users to remain vigilant at all times and stay focused on the task at hand,” said Jones.

Leave the phone alone.

If there’s an urgent call you must take, pull over before doing so. Driving is a complex task with many moving parts. As such, it requires your full attention.

Impaired driving

Impairment can fall under one of three major headings: alcohol impairment, drug impairment and fatigue impairment. All three can significantly affect your ability to react quickly, to drive defensively and to avoid collisions.

The most recent data available from Transport Canada’s National Collision Database demonstrates that one in five fatal collisions involved alcohol as a contributing factor.

Research from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation points to 42.4 per cent of fatally injured drivers testing positive for drugs, the majority of which were cannabis and central nervous system depressants.

Furthermore, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators estimates that driver fatigue is a factor in approximately 20 per cent of fatal collisions.

These behaviours are not new, nor are they reasonable to engage in behind the wheel. Don’t drive while impaired — take a taxi, get a friend to give you a ride, or simply wait until you’re no longer impaired to hit the road.

Seatbelt use

Generally, Canadians are getting the message — seat belt use over recent years has hovered around the 95 per cent mark. However, according to the ITFRSD, more than 30 per cent of vehicle occupants who were killed in 2018 were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

Seatbelt use in Canada should be second nature. Worn correctly, they can significantly reduce the likelihood of death and serious injury. Buckle up!

The common factor

The common factor in all these behaviours is simple: they are all choices that drivers make.

And yet, the data clearly demonstrates two salient points: they all have direct correlations with death and injury, and they are all widely accepted to be dangerous, yet the prevalence of these issues is widespread.

Drive safely, with your eyes on the road, your full attention to the task, your faculties unimpaired and your seatbelt on. Driving any differently is #NotWorthTheRisk.


Just Posted

Pictured here are Stettler-based band The Jazz Guys, who are launching this season’s Entertainment in the Park series at West Stettler Park on June 24th. photo submitted
Stettler’s The Jazz Guys to launch ‘Entertainment in the Park’ season June 23rd

This year’s festivities will consist of the following 10 free concerts

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Premier Jason Kenney says the provincial government is doing everything it can to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

Stettler town hall
Town approves Canada Day fireworks show, using phase two health restrictions

The funding for the fireworks show has already been allocated

Castor Evangelical Missionary Church Pastor Brent Siemens, celebrating five years in Castor, reflects on the journey that brought him to the community. Kevin J. Sabo photo
Castor pastor celebrates five years of serving the community

Brent Siemens is the pastor of Castor’s Evangelical Missionary Church

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

Most Read