The Guelph Police Service has released it's annual year end report of local collision statistics, and while there's some cause for optimism in the fact that the number of total reported collisions went down as compared to this time last year, in taking a closer look at the statistics, there's still a lot to be concerned about.
First, here are the figures for 2015 courtesy of the Guelph Police Service:
Reported collisions 2,874, compared to 2,945 in same time period in 2014
- Worst month – February
- Worst day–Friday
- Worst time – between 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Collisions involving drugs or alcohol – 39
- Collisions involving pedestrians - 38
- Worst day for pedestrians – Wednesday and Friday
- Worst time for pedestrians – between 11 a.m. to noon
- Collisions involving cyclists – 42
- Worst day for cyclists – Thursday
- Worst time for cyclists – 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Top 3 intersections for vehicle collisions in this time period:
- 1-Victoria Road/York Road – 36
- 2-Speedvale Avenue/Woolwich Street – 32
- 3-Edinburgh Road/Stone Road - 28
Let's compare three items in particular: Collisions involving drugs and alcohol, Collisions involving pedestrians, and the Top 3 intersections. As compared to 2014 stats, the number of collisions caused by substance abuse went up by nine, about three more pedestrians were struck by cars, and while the worst intersection in the city shifted southeast from Woodlawn and Woolwich, the number of crashes at Victoria and York went up by 33 per cent.
Looking at the situation by street, if you drive down the entirety of Woodlawn Road, you're crossing more than one-quarter of the city's most dangerous intersections; six of them to be exact. Speedvale and Victoria are tied for second with each road intersecting at four of the most dangerous corners in town (including Speedvale Ave E. and Victoria Rd. N., which is number seven overall). Woolwich, Gordon and Stone are all tied with three dangerous intersections apiece, although if we were to take Gordon and Woolwich as part of the same central corridor, it would be just as dangerous as Woodlawn.
Looking more closely at the stats for collisions involving pedestrians, knowing where the dangerous intersections are is a good plan of action because 14 of the 26 car accidents involving pedestrians last year happened at an intersection. Parking lots came in second place with five out of the 26 collisions. January and May were the most dangerous months, while the hours of 11 am and 12 pm were the most dangerous times. In 14 out of the 26 accidents, the driver's failure to yield the right-of-way caused the collision.
The report this year also contained a break down of collisions with cyclists, with intersections again being the most dangerous locale for a car/bike run-in. While 11 out of 27 collisions did take place at intersections, eight collisions took place at or near driveways, suggesting that both cyclists and drivers need to exercise more caution and/or awareness when vehicles are leaving driveways. GPS had no stats for cyclists' actions, but in 16 out of 27 cases they say that the driver was "driving properly," while in five cases the driver failed to yield the right of way.
The numbers of collisions attributed to drug and alcohol use also offer some interesting asides. For instance, of the 25 collisions reported, four of them happened during the 8 pm hour with three apiece happening at 3 am and 12 pm. While it should be unsurprising that Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the busiest days of the week for drunk or drug-impaired driving, it is kind of surprising that June and July were the worst months for offenses. As for age groups, four of the 25 were 23 years old and three were 32 years old. In total, five were in their 40s, eight were in their 30s, 11 were in their 20s, and there was one lone 17-year-old driving inebriated.
All these stats cover the the first three quarters of 2015 from January to September.