New numbers released by the Office of Traffic Safety show the number of fatal collisions in Edmonton increased 23.8 per cent from 2016 to 2017.
The report, entitled Motor Vehicle Collisions 2017, shows there were 21 fatal crashes in 2016 compared to 26 the following year.
The total number of collisions was up 3.3 per cent from 23,139 in 2016 to 23,906 in 2017.
“We’ve seen basically an increase of about three per cent in motor vehicle crashes,” said Gerry Shimko, executive director of the city’s Traffic Safety section.
“When we look at those, we had a very very long winter and we suspect a lot of that is just related to driving in winter conditions.”
The number of injury collisions also rose about two per cent to 2,710 last year.
“We’re seeing that we’ve had some improvements in the vulnerable road user area — certainly around pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists,” Shimko said.
Scroll down to read the Motor Vehicle Collisions report in full.
The number of both pedestrian collisions and bicycle collisions went down from 2016 to 2017.
In 2016, there were 292 collisions involving pedestrians. The next year, it went down 7.5 per cent when there were 270.
“The long-term trend still sees us going in the right direction for Vision Zero,” Shimko said, referencing the city’s long-term goal of zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
The number of pedestrian injury collisions as well as fatalities also went down.
“Of the pedestrian collisions, 177 injuries and five fatalities occurred when pedestrians were crossing with the right of way, and 56 injuries and four fatalities occurred when pedestrians were crossing without the right of way (jaywalking),” the report found.
The number of collisions involving bicycles also went down. In 2016 there were 171 crashes and 143 the next year, a reduction of 16.4 per cent.
The number of cyclist injuries also went down by 17.2 per cent.
“We’ve certainly been very careful on integrating the new bike routes into the city infrastructure,” Shimko said.
“We’ve done road safety audits to ensure safety. We’ve provided Vision Zero street teams out there for cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists to understand how to use that infrastructure.”
When it comes to motorcycle crashes, the overall number of collisions went down but fatalities went up.
To be specific, there were 191 motorcycle collisions in 2016 and 154 in 2017, a reduction of 19.4 per cent. The number of motorcycle injuries went down 26.6 per cent (from 124 to 91).
However, the number of fatal motorcycle crashes rose 33.3 per cent, going from three such collisions in 2016 to four in 2017.
“We track and share this data so we can help find ways to prevent fatalities and serious injuries,” Shimko said.
“We use the data to inform the city on what initiatives — including left-turn only signals, right-turn redesigns of intersections, crosswalks and education campaigns — should be made priorities in a Vision Zero city,” Shimko said. “We also use the numbers to inform road designs and neighbourhood renewal.”
Other interesting facts:
Where do the most collisions in Edmonton take place?
Ranked by the total number of collisions, the top three high-collision intersections in 2017 were:
- 107 Avenue NW and 142 Street NW (89 collisions and three injuries)
- Yellowhead Trail NW and 149 Street NW (81 collisions, nine injuries)
- 23 Avenue NW and 91 Street NW (68 collisions and 10 injuries)
Between 2016 and 2017, Edmonton’s population rose by 0.2 per cent from 932,546 to 934,000.
To compare, the number of collisions increased 3.3 per cent over the same time period.
Collisions per capita increased 3.2 per cent from 2016 levels.
“Gathered together, the drivers involved in collisions in 2017 would exceed the maximum seating capacity of Rogers Place by more than 3,000,” the Motor Vehicle Collisions 2017 report said.
The most common cause of a collision is following too closely, which made up for 37.3 per cent of crashes last year.
The highest number of collisions occurs on Fridays.