Allstate Canada Safe Driving Study finds collisions continue to rise

Eighth-annual study of Allstate data shows national collision frequency rate grew by 1.7 per cent

MARKHAM, ON, Nov. 30, 2016 /CNW/ - The latest Allstate Insurance Company of Canada Safe Driving Study, released today, reveals that collisions continue to rise in a number of provinces across Canada. Despite improvements in Alberta and New Brunswick, the national collision frequency rate has risen from 5.60 per cent to 5.70 per cent since the previous period, representing a 1.7 per cent increase in claims across the country.

Now in its eighth year, the Safe Driving Study examines collision data of Allstate Canada customers in Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario — which is then used to rank cities across the country according to collision frequency. Of the 86 communities included in the 2016 study, Spruce Grove, AB ranked as the safest, with a collision frequency rate of 3.60 per cent, while the community with the highest regularity of collisions was Halifax, NS, at 7.77 per cent.

"Last year's Safe Driving Study identified a trend towards rising collisions, and the latest study demonstrates that this has not changed," says Dave MacInnis, Vice President, Product Operations at Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. "Each year, we investigate our claims data to identify important developments in driving. We feel it's essential to share our findings with Canadians, to encourage conversation about what it means to be a safe driver."

Attention Editors: Please see below for a collection of safe driving tips for drivers.

Highlights of the 2016 Safe Driving Study
Despite an overall hike in the frequency of collisions across Canada, two provinces experienced particularly significant increases. For the second consecutive study, Nova Scotia was the province with the highest collision frequency rate, ballooning from 5.42 per cent to 6.39 per cent, representing an increase of 17.8 per cent since the previous period. Ontario followed suit, jumping from 5.59 per cent to 5.79 per cent. Conversely, New Brunswick was found to be the province with the lowest collision frequency rate at 5.13 per cent.

Allstate data shows that the three most common types of collisions are: vehicles being rear-ended (26 per cent); accidents that occur while passing through an intersection or turning (24 per cent); and collisions involving parked vehicles (13 per cent). 

Exercise increased caution on Fridays
The latest Safe Driving Study also shed light on which days of the week saw the highest frequency of specific types of collision claims over the past decade. At 17 per cent, Friday is the day with the highest number of collision claims across the country. In fact, Fridays see the highest frequency of collisions spanning nearly all categories, including: multi-vehicle accidents involving a chain reaction (19 per cent of all claims of this type occur on Fridays); lane changes (18 per cent); vehicles being rear-ended (18 per cent); collisions resulting from turning or passing through an intersection (17 per cent); and head-on collisions (17 per cent), amongst others.

"Our latest findings reinforce that Friday continues to be a treacherous day on the road, spanning minor and major collisions – many of which could be avoided," says MacInnis. "While our data is not able to identify specific reasons as to why collisions are up, or why more take place on Fridays, we suspect that various factors, such as increased traffic, inclement weather, and distracted driving may contribute to the heightened rate of claims."

Pedestrians and cyclists— be weary of Wednesdays
While the highest frequency of overall collision claims take place on Fridays, the study found that accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists were most likely to occur on Wednesdays, when 17 per cent of these types of collisions have taken place.  The second-highest day of the week for collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists was Friday (16 per cent).

"Regardless of the day of the week, it's always concerning to hear about collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians – and our data shows that there's work to be done to reduce the frequency of these sorts of accidents," says MacInnis. "As more cities across Canada are working towards becoming more walkable and bike-friendly, this serves as a reminder to remain alert and take steps to be safer behind the wheel throughout the work week."

Tips for drivers to stay safe behind the wheel
Allstate Canada offers the below safety advice for drivers across the country:

  • Be aware of others on the road. Remember to always safely share the road with cyclists and keep a close eye out for pedestrians. Exercise additional caution when in high-traffic areas and at intersections.
  • Mind your speed. One of the key contributors to collisions is a high rate of speed. One of the main steps drivers can take to reduce their chances of being involved in a collision is to reduce their speed.
  • Always use your signals. Be vigilant about signaling to indicate a lane change. The second most-common type of collision in this study involved lane changes.
  • Don't follow too closely. Accidents involving cars being rear-ended were the most common type of accident in the study. Leaving enough space to brake safely makes it less likely you'll bump into the car ahead of you.
  • Put down your phone. Distracted driving is a significant contributor to avoidable accidents. Refrain from distractions such as eating or grooming, and consider storing your phone out of arms' reach so you're not tempted to look at it while operating your vehicle.
  • Never drive impaired. If you're planning to consume alcohol, plan ahead for your ride home. Options include public transit, a designated driver, or a taxi. If you suspect another driver to be impaired, call 911 and report it to the police.

For more safe driving tips, visit goodhandsadvice.ca/2016-Safe-Driving-Study.

Regional Findings

ALBERTA

  • Ten Albertan communities were included in the 2016 study, with four landing on the list of the top 10 safest cities, including the leader, Spruce Grove, AB (#1, 3.60 per cent).
  • Three Albertan communities ranked among the top-five that saw the greatest decrease in their collision frequency rate, with Leduc (#11, 4.36 per cent) experiencing the most significant decrease with a reduction of 30 per cent and St. Albert (#8, 4.22 per cent) seeing a reduction of 23 per cent.

NOVA SCOTIA

  • For the second consecutive study, Nova Scotia was the province with the highest frequency of collisions, with a 17.8 per cent increase in its collision frequency rate.
  • Five communities in Nova Scotia were included in the study: Bedford (#45, 5.67 per cent); Dartmouth (#64, 6.28 per cent); Hammonds Plains (#67, 6.31 per cent); Lower Sackville (#74, 6.74 per cent); and Halifax (#86, 7.77 per cent)
  • Of the top-five communities that experienced the most significant increase in their collision frequency rates, three of these communities are located in Nova Scotia, with Hammonds Plains seeing the greatest increase at 43 per cent, followed by Lower Sackville at 40 per cent.

NEW BRUNSWICK

  • Of the six New Brunswick communities ranked in the study, Rothesay featured the lowest collision frequency rate (#24, 4.97 per cent).
  • Other communities featured in the study include: Riverview (#32, 5.21 per cent); Saint John (#37, 5.37 per cent); Dieppe (#40, 5.52 per cent); Fredericton (#51, 5.88 per cent); and Moncton (#58, 6.09 per cent).

ONTARIO

  • Six of the ten safest communities in this study are in Ontario, with Val Therese (#3, 3.69 per cent) ranking as the safest community in the province.
  • Other Ontarian communities included in the top 10 are: LaSalle (#4, 3.80 per cent); Chelmsford (#5, 3.86 per cent); Sarnia (#7, 4.09 per cent); Belle River (#9, 4.25 per cent); and St. Thomas (#10, 4.31 per cent).

Visit here for more detailed results, as well as our "Safest City" ranking by community and region.

Visit here for an infographic that illustrates key findings from the Safe Driving Study.

About the Study:
Allstate Canada conducted an in-depth analysis of company collision claims data to determine the safest communities in Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario based on the frequency of collisions. The study spans a 24-month period beginning July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2016. It also offers a comparison to the data from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2014. Collision frequency refers to a percentage of vehicles insured by Allstate Canada involved in a collision that resulted in a claim.

To ensure the data provides a realistic outlook for what is happening on roadways, only communities with at least 1,500 cars insured by Allstate Canada during the 24-month period were included in the study. The Allstate Safe Driving Study began in Ontario in 2007 and has since expanded to include communities in Alberta, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. For this study, a total of 107 communities were included (86 in Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and 21 in Quebec).

Attention Editors: The Quebec Safe Driving Study from Allstate Canada can be found here.

Claims data is limited to collisions for which there was a payout. Claims for incidents such as break-ins or vandalism are not included in this analysis. Two-year periods were chosen to provide a larger sample for more meaningful analysis. Survey data ranks frequency of collisions, not severity of accident. Collision data can be traced back to the registered car address. The study does not include personally identifying information of Allstate customers.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada:
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of the country's leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products, including usage-based insurance, serving Canadians since 1953. The company strives to keep its customers in "Good Hands®" as well as its employees, and has been listed as a Best Employer in Canada for five years in a row. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), United Way, and Junior Achievement. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit www.allstate.ca. For more safety tips and advice, visit goodhandsadvice.ca.

SOURCE Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

For further information: Anna Weigt-Bienzle, Senior Communications Specialist, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, T: 905-475-4527, E: aweigtbienzle@allstate.ca; Leanne Bull, Environics Communications on behalf of Allstate Canada, T: 416-969-2765, E: lbull@environicspr.com


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