OPP: fatalities down; ‘safe, defensive driving’ still crucial

ORILLIA – The OPP is reporting decreases in all categories of fatalities on OPP-patrolled roads, waterways and trails in 2018. 

“While we are pleased to see positive results, our traffic data should not be viewed as mere numbers,” stated OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair.

“They represent people … whose lives were ended because of drivers who were careless and took unnecessary risks. 

“Safe, defensive driving is the only way to prevent more lives from being lost. Every driver owes this to the citizens of Ontario.”


There were 296 fatal road collisions last year, in which 333 people lost their lives. Those numbers are down from 304 and 343 respectively in 2017.

However, personal injury and property damage collisions were up to 72,060 last year, compared to 68,782 in 2017.

Road deaths in all but one of the “big four” categories – inattentive driving, speeding, not using seatbelts and  alcohol/drug impairment – were down last year. 

“Most notably, last year marked the lowest number of inattentive-related road deaths in almost 10 years,” police stated.

There were 7,674 collisions involving transport trucks in 2018, marking a four-year high. Fifty-five of the crashes were fatal and 1,142 of them resulted in personal injuries.  

In 2017 those numbers were 7,287, 79 and 1,253 respectively.

Thirty-six people died in motorcycle collisions last year (down from 48), with speed and losing control topping the list of contributing factors.


Nineteen people died in off-road vehicle incidents in 2018, compared to 22 the previous year. Ten of the riders who died were not wearing a helmet and alcohol was a factor in almost half (8) of the fatalities. 

Over the past ten years, alcohol has been a factor in 42 per cent of off-road vehicle fatalities.


Twenty-four people lost their lives in boating incidents last year, down from 31 deaths in 2017. All but two (22) of the deceased were not wearing a personal floatation device (PFD). Over the past ten years, 85 per cent of those who died in boating incidents were not wearing a PFD or life jacket.    


There were 13 people killed in snowmobile incidents during the 2017-18 season, compared to 27 in 2016-17. 

Over the past ten years, 37 per cent of snowmobile fatalities have occurred on frozen waterways. 

Over the same ten-year period, the primary “driver action” associated with the fatalities was driving too fast for the conditions.