Allstate Canada study finds collisions on the rise

Annual study of Allstate data shows a 7.3 per cent increase in national collision frequency rate

TORONTO, Nov. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - The seventh-annual Allstate Insurance Company of Canada Safe Driving Study, released today, has revealed that collisions are on the rise, with the frequency of collisions rising nationally from 5.19 per cent in the previous Safe Driving Study, to 5.57 per cent this year. This increase represents a 7.3 per cent rise in collisions.

The Safe Driving Study uses Allstate Canada data to track collision frequency among Allstate Canada customers in Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. Using this data, Allstate was able to rank 81 cities across the country based on collision frequency, with Spruce Grove, AB being rated the safest with a collision frequency of 3.43 per cent. The community with the highest frequency in collisions was Halifax at 7.12 per cent.

"Our data is showing a trend toward rising collisions over the past two years," says Ryan Michel, senior vice-president and chief risk officer for Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. "While the study can only look at our data, we believe it's important to share the trends we are seeing, in an effort to shine a light on road safety and encourage Canadians to think about what it means to be a safe driver."

Attention Editors: A list of safe driving tips for drivers has been included below.

2015 Safe Driving Study Results
While the study showed an overall increase in the frequency of collisions, New Brunswick reported the lowest collision rates, followed by Alberta. The rise in collisions was the highest in Nova Scotia, which saw an increase in collisions from 4.63 per cent to 5.77 per cent. The study can't account for direct reasons as to why collisions rose, but it's important to note that a variety of factors, including increased traffic and inclement weather conditions, can play a part in an increase in collisions.

This year's Safe Driving Study also revealed new information about where and how most drivers are getting into collisions. The three most common types of collisions according to Allstate data are: vehicles being rear-ended (25.17 per cent); accidents while turning or passing through an intersection (23.54 per cent); and accidents involving parked vehicles (13.57 per cent). 

"We may all believe that we're taking the necessary steps to be safe on the roads, it's clear that more needs to be done to remind drivers to pay attention when they're behind the wheel. Many of the collisions we see reported are entirely preventable, so it's important to open up a dialogue about what needs to be done to bring that number down," says Michel. "That is our reason for publishing the Safe Driving Study – encouraging open discussion about the trends we're seeing so that drivers can be reminded about how important it is to be safe behind the wheel."

Safety tips for drivers
There are a number of steps Canadians can take to be safer drivers in their communities:

  • Leave space. As rear-enders are a very likely form of collision to take place on the roads, it is important to always leave a lot of room in front of and around your vehicle, regardless of where you're driving. You never know when you may need to brake quickly. At nighttime or when visibility conditions are poor, this is even more important.  
  • Check your mirrors.  Be vigilant about checking your mirrors at regular intervals. Use extra care to check your and blind spot when changing lanes.
  • Slow down! It can be tempting to speed up when road conditions are clear, but you can reduce your likelihood of being involved in an accident just by slowing down. If you have to come to a sudden stop, this makes you less likely to hit the car in front of you.
  • Share the road. From parked cars to cyclists and pedestrians, there are other considerations to think about while driving in addition to the vehicle in front of you. As accidents involving parked vehicles were the third most-common type of claim this year, consider using extra caution while driving in busy areas.
  • Focus on being a safe driver. One of the most effective ways to be safe behind the wheel is to give the road your undivided attention. Keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and your phone stowed away. You should also never, ever drive while impaired.  Unfortunately, thousands of collisions are caused by impaired drivers every year.

Caution is crucial throughout the holiday season

There are numerous behaviours drivers should consider adopting to be safer on the roads and this is essential during the holidays, as two out of the three days with the most collisions fall within the holiday season. Based on Allstate Canada collision data over the last decade, December 23 is the day a collision is most likely to occur, while December 21 ranks as the third most common day for collisions.  

"The holidays are among the busiest time of the year – with seasonal parties, last-minute shopping and family visits all happening during a compressed timeframe, the holidays see many drivers on the roads," says Michel. "The chaotic traffic, combined with treacherous winter driving conditions right into the new year, mean that drivers must remain vigilant and exercise caution at all times."

While drivers may take steps to be safer on the road, collisions may still occur. For a checklist of what to do in the event of a collision, visit the GOOD HANDS blog at www.goodhandsadvice.ca.

Regional Findings

ALBERTA

  • Of the eight Albertan communities ranked in the study, three made the top 10 safest cities, with Spruce Grove, AB taking the top spot (#1, 3.43 per cent)
  • Medicine Hat (#9, 4.03 per cent) saw the most drastic increase in collision claims in Alberta, with a 24 per cent increase since the previous study

ONTARIO

  • Ontario was home to seven of the top 10 safest cities in Canada: Chelmsford, ON (#2, 3.54 per cent) ; St. Thomas  (#3, 3.66 per cent); LaSalle, ON (#4, 3.70 per cent); Brockville, ON (#5, 3.83 per cent); Belle River, ON (#6, 3.90 per cent); Sarnia, ON (#7, 4.01 per cent); and Amherstburg, ON (#10, 4.09 per cent)

NOVA SCOTIA

  • Five communities in Nova Scotia were ranked in the study, including Bedford (#22, 5.06 per cent); Hammonds Plains (#32, 5.25 per cent); Lower Sackville (#46, 5.63 per cent); Dartmouth (#52, 5.87 per cent); and Halifax (#81, 7.12 per cent)
  • Compared to the other regions studied, Nova Scotia saw the highest frequency of collisions overall, with Hammonds Plains experiencing the most significant increase in collisions at 66 per cent, while Halifax reported the highest collision claims frequency rate in Canada at 7.12 per cent

NEW BRUNSWICK

  • Six communities in New Brunswick were ranked  in the study: Rothesay (#18, 4.82 per cent); Saint John (#26, 5.14 per cent); Riverview (#36, 5.36 per cent); Dieppe (#42, 5.52 per cent); Fredericton (#53, 5.91 per cent); and Moncton (#68, 6.33 per cent), which saw a 12 per cent increase in collision claims

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.

Attention Editors: A study from Allstate Canada looking at collision data from customers in Quebec can be found here.

About the Study:
Allstate Canada conducted an in-depth analysis of company collision claims data to determine the safest communities based on the frequency of collisions. The study spans a 24-month period beginning July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2015. It also offers a comparison to the data from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2013. 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. This year, a total of 101   communities were included.

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 itself does not include the personal 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 four 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

Image with caption: "Allstate Insurance Company of Canada (CNW Group/Allstate Insurance Company of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151126_C6964_PHOTO_EN_553914.jpg

For further information: Kevin Wilson, Senior Communications Specialist, Allstate Canada Group of Companies, T: 905-475-4527, C: 416-602-8998, E: kwilson@allstate.ca; Leanne Bull, Environics Communications on behalf of Allstate Canada, T: 416-969-2765, E: lbull@environicspr.com


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