No one wants to get in a car accident. Unfortunately, most drivers do something every time they get behind the wheel that puts them at an increased risk of getting into this very situation, even if they do not realize it.
Statistics from Transport Canada’s National Collision Database reveal the various factors that can put one person at a higher risk of severe injury or fatality than someone else.
Factors that increase the risk of serious, fatal injuries in a crash
- Your age – More people over the age of 65 died in crashes in 2018 than drivers in every other age group. However, people between the age of 25-34 suffered the most injuries. These numbers suggest that older populations can experience worse injuries, while young adults are more likely to get in a crash but recover.
- Where you are driving – Statistics show that there were more collisions resulting in personal injury in urban or metropolitan settings, but a higher number of fatalities in rural settings. This is likely because parties are driving slower in congested, urban areas and travelling over 60 km/h on rural roads and highways. Further, the province in which you are driving could affect your risk of fatality or injury. Yukon Territory has the highest rate of fatal crashes based on population, while Manitoba and Nova Scotia have the highest rates of injury-causing accidents.
- Your road user class – Drivers suffer more fatalities and injuries than any other road user, followed by passengers, pedestrians and motorcyclists.
- Your driving habits – Your own driving habits can increase your risk of getting hurt or killed in a crash. If you drive while drunk or drugged, if you drive while distracted, or if you drive while you are exhausted, you make it more likely that you will get into an accident. Further, if you do not wear a seat belt in the car, you increase your exposure to worse injuries.
Before you head out on the road, consider these factors that put people at a higher risk of severe injuries or fatalities in a motor vehicle accident. With this information, you can make decisions behind the wheel that protect you, your passengers and others sharing the road with you.