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Safer Roads, Safer Citizens

June 24, 2011

Report shows decrease in traffic fatalities, injuries, property damage

The City of Edmonton’s Office of Traffic Safety reports that traffic injuries, fatalities, property damage, and overall collisions on city streets all decreased in 2010 compared to 2009.

“Traffic safety continues to be a top priority for Edmonton residents, both on major thoroughfares and in residential areas,” says Gerry Shimko, Executive Director of the Office of Traffic Safety. “Although we are encouraged by the decrease in the number of injuries, fatalities and property damage against an increase in population and registered vehicles, we will continue to improve our collaboration with the Edmonton Police Service, city engineers, and community groups with a view to further reducing collisions in the months and years to come.”

The report, released today, indicates that:

  • There were 4,910 collision-related injuries in 2010, a 5.6 per cent reduction from last year and the lowest annual figure in twenty years. In 2002, by comparison, there were over 11,000 injuries.
  • The number of collision-related fatalities 2010 dropped by 16 per cent (to 27). There were ten fewer fatalities as a result of collisions than in 2004.
  • Direct property damage costs of vehicles and fixed objects involved in collisions totaled $82.5 million in 2010, an average of $2,897 per collision (the lowest average value in 20 years). By comparison, in 2007 total property damage was over $106 million, averaging $3,719 per collision.
  • In 2010, there were 28,480 collisions overall, a 1.2% decrease compared to 28,832 collisions in 2009.
  • There was a 10 per cent reduction in the number of pedestrians injured and killed on Edmonton streets in 2010. The 326 injuries and 4 fatalities are the lowest annual number since 2005. In addition, the number of cyclists injured or killed decreased 16 per cent over last year.
  • The number of motorcycles registered in Edmonton has almost doubled since 2004, but the number of injured motorcyclists (135 in 2010) is nearly identical to the 2004 figure.
  • Collisions at intersections made up 47 per cent of all collisions in 2010, but accounted for 67 per cent of all injuries and fatalities.  The three collision causes most likely to result in injury – failure to observe traffic signals, left turns across the path of oncoming traffic, and stop or yield sign violations – are all intersection-related collision causes. 
  • The most common cause of collisions remains one vehicle following another too closely. There were 11,730 follow too close collisions in 2010, accounting for 41% of all collisions.
  • Winter driving conditions had an effect on the total number of collisions in 2010. For example, the combination of 77% more snowfall and the earlier onset of winter driving conditions in November 2010 resulted in 1,000 more collisions than the average for November.

“The collection and analysis of collision data is essential in making informed decisions about new traffic controls, safety measures and enforcement,” says Shimko. “At the same time, it is important to understand that there are stories behind the numbers. Lives can be altered forever in an instant, resulting in devastating and far-reaching consequences for individuals and families involved in collisions. The Office of Traffic Safety, in conjunction with municipal and regional partners, works hard to educate motorists about safe driving, but ultimately it is the person behind the wheel who has to make good decisions and practice responsible driving habits.”

The full report provides a breakdown of collisions in Edmonton by day, week, and month of year; details on fixed object involvement; demographic information of drivers at fault and registered drivers in Edmonton; and detail on vulnerable road user collisions (pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists). In addition, there are a number of collision data maps and a glossary of collision causes, as well as intersection-level detail available in spreadsheet form. 

Gerry Shimko

Office of Traffic Safety

Title Executive Director