Hamilton’s Accident Statistics – Annual Collision Report 2021 Highlights

Hamilton’s Accident Statistics – Annual Collision Report 2021 Highlights

The City of Hamilton recently released its annual collision report for 2021. The analysis was based on collision data on the City road network collected over the five years between 2017 and 2021.

While the COVID-19 pandemic, whose effects reached an all-time high in 2020, continues to have far-reaching implications on traffic patterns and volumes, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reports a marginal increase in collisions in 2021 compared to 2020.

This article explores key highlights of the report and the steps to take if you’re ever involved in a collision.

Historical collision data in the City of Hamilton shows a gradual increase in accidents reported in the pre-pandemic years. The total accidents reported in 2020 decreased by 31.2% compared to 2019 and increased by 2.9% in 2021. 2020 recorded the lowest number of accidents since 2012, understandably, since traffic had reduced exponentially due to Covid Restrictions.

The report also indicates that the number of collisions that resulted in fatality and injury decreased by 20.6% in 2021 compared to 2019. However, these increased by 2.1% in 2021 compared to 2020.

2021 recorded the lowered number of pedestrian-related accidents in the period under review, with nine fatal collisions reported in 2021 compared to four in 2020. Hamilton experiences approximately 8,122 crashes every year on average. 2021 recorded a total of 6,811 collisions.

The report further indicates that male drivers were involved in more accidents than female drivers across all age groups. Male drivers accounted for approximately 63% of all drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents.

76.4% of all crashes reported in 2021 happened during dry surface conditions. 16.5% and 6.9% of collisions happened during wet and ice/snow-covered conditions, respectively.

The annual collision report also indicates that 66.4% of crashes in the city occurred during the day. This figure is about 6% lower than the provincial average.

Regarding road section accidents, 22.4% of the total crashes reported in 2021 were rear-end collisions compared to 42.5% of Single Motor Vehicle (SMV) crashes. Rear-end collisions at signalized road intersections accounted for 42.7% of accidents, consistent with other jurisdictions across Ontario. Sideswipe collisions made up 20.5% of all reported crashes in 2021.

The annual collision report indicates that the largest number of crashes in Hamilton occurred in January, October, November, and December for the period under review.

June, August, and October experienced the highest number of collision-related fatalities and injuries based on 2017-2021 accident data.

Most collisions, particularly those that ended up causing injury and death, occurred on Fridays compared to other days of the week. This observation was consistent with provincial reports.

There was also a strong correlation between the number of accidents during weekdays and peak traffic periods. Most crashes, regardless of severity, occur between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. during peak evening traffic, 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. during peak morning traffic, and around 12 p.m. during peak noon traffic.

The number of reported collisions that occurred during weekends was significantly lower than those during weekdays. The report further states that most collisions that happen over the weekend are spread between 10.00 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Vulnerable Road Users Collision Statistics

The Highway Traffic Act (HTA) classifies pedestrians and cyclists as vulnerable road users. The number of pedestrian-related collisions between 2017 and 2021 has fluctuated between 173 and 246. The City of Hamilton reported 173 collisions in 2021 involving pedestrians, 9.9% lower than those reported the year before. Out of these, nine fatalities occurred – the highest reported in the five years under review.

The collision report further indicates that the number of cyclist-related collisions between 2017 and 2021 has fluctuated between 128 and 183. The number of cyclist crashes reported in 2021 increased by 5.3% compared to the previous year.

October recorded the highest number of pedestrian accidents. This data was inconsistent with the trend observed in other Ontario municipalities, which recorded the largest number of pedestrian-related collisions in November.

69.7% of pedestrian collisions happened at intersections, with 70.8% occurring at signalized crossings. In 26.2% of the pedestrian collisions at non-intersection locations (midblock), victims were walking on sidewalks or road shoulders.

Most cyclist collisions in Hamilton in 2021 happened between June and August. 77.4% of these resulted in injuries, 0.3% of which were fatal. 64.7% of cyclist crashes happened at intersections, with 50.7% occurring at signalized crossings.

The collision report also analyzed driver actions at the time the crashes occurred. It revealed that 29.2% and 42.9% of drivers failed to yield to cyclists and pedestrians who had the right of way. Moreover, 13.1% of drivers were found to have made illegal turns in the bike-car collisions reported during the period under review.

Driver Role in Reported Collisions

The report pointed to distracted driving as the biggest contributing factor to traffic accidents, accounting for 19.1% of all injuries and fatal collisions in 2021.

Alcohol consumption and substance-related impairment were responsible for 3.9% of injury and fatal collisions over the same period. 17.7% of all OPP-reported collisions pointed to speeding as the primary cause.

What to Do if You’re Involved in a Collision

If you’re involved in an accident – whether directly or indirectly – there are certain things you are legally obligated to do and others you should do to shield yourself against legal action if the collision results in property damage, injury, or death.

1. Remain at the Scene

It is illegal to leave or flee the scene of an accident. It doesn’t matter whether you were directly or indirectly involved. You must remain at or return to the scene and wait until law enforcement officers arrive.

While you’re there, here are a few things you should do:

  • Get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, and driver’s license number
  • Write down the name of their insurance provider and their policy number
  • Take photographs or video footage of the accident scene
  • Write down the make, model, year, and license plate details of the other vehicle
  • Write down the name and contact information of any witnesses to the accident

2. Call 911

If you or someone else appears injured, dial 911 immediately to call an ambulance to the scene. Do not touch or attempt to move the injured person unless you are a healthcare professional or have undergone medical training. Of course, this rule is superseded by the victim’s immediate safety needs.

For instance, if the collision caused the car to burn into flames, your immediate priority would be to pull the victim out of the burning car and then call the paramedics.

You should also do what you can to prevent other accidents by switching on your vehicle’s hazard signals, raising your vehicle’s hood, and warning approaching vehicles so they can proceed with caution.

3. Call the Police

Whether or not you are legally obligated to call and wait for the police depends on the value of the property damage, and iIf anyone was seriously injured in the accident. If the total combined value of the property damage to both vehicles is less than $2,000, if none of the drivers involved in the accident has violated the law (such as driving while impaired), and if no one was injured in the crash, then there’s no legal obligation for you to involve the police. In most cases, the police will not show up at an accident scene if these three conditions have been met.

There is an exception, though. If the accident caused damage to someone else’s property (regardless of the value), including guard rails, telephone poles, someone’s lawn, etc., you’re required to take your car to a Collision Reporting Center.

On the other hand, if you’re looking at property damage worth more than a total combined value of $2,000 for both vehicles, if any of the drivers have violated the law, or if someone has sustained injuries, then you are legally obligated to call the police and wait for them to arrive at the scene. The police may instruct you to take your car to a Collision Reporting Center instead.

Remember, you should not apologize for the accident (even if you think you were at fault) or make a statement to anyone except a police officer. Don’t offer to pay for any damage, nor should you accept payment from anyone. Keep detailed records of any mechanical repair costs and medical expenses you incur for damaged property and injuries.

4. Call your no-fault insurer immediately and report serious injuries

All vehicle insurance policies require you to report all accidents regardless of the damage value. Insurers base their premiums on “risk” – whether or not you pay for the accident. Even if you pay out-of-pocket mechanical expenses for a motor vehicle accident you caused or were partially at fault for, the accident counts against you. If you were not the at-fault party, the accident wouldn’t count against you, and your premiums won’t go up.

5. Call a Car Accident Lawyer

If you’re unsure what to do after a collision, your best bet would be to retain the services of a legal expert. Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers are personal injury accident lawyers who have been serving the Hamilton community since 2003. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident, motorcycle accident, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident or trucking accident, contact us today. Call us no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Southern Ontario region at 905-333-8888. Alternatively, you can send us a confidential email through our website – and we would be happy to get back to you.

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