[Road safety] Distracted driving is responsible for 32% of road fatalities in Manitoba

Statistics show that Manitoba is one of the provinces most affected by distracted driving in Canada, with too many crashes and fatalities caused by irresponsible drivers.

distracteddriverthumb
Distracted driving is the cause of many road fatalities in Canada every year (credit: Alabama Department of Transportation)

21 %

The percentage of road fatalities...

caused by distracted driving across Canada

$102.3 million

The cost of distracted driving...

each year for car insurance companies in Canada

25 deaths

Are caused every year

because of distracted drivers across Manitoba

25 Manitoban drivers die every year because of distracted driving

How does distracted driving impact road statistics in Manitoba? The numbers show that Manitoba is one of Canada's most negatively-affected province in this regard.

Indeed, the data we could consult on governmental websites from the 6 Western provinces of Canada. It shows that:

  • Manitoba ranks as the second most impacted province within the 6 studied, with 32.3% road deaths caused by distracted driving (representing 25 annual deaths)
  • Only Saskatchewan does worse, being the second worst-affected province with 41.3% of road deaths caused by distracted driving (representing 33 annual deaths)
  • Among the six provinces studied, Quebec ranks best with 13.8% of road fatalities attributed to distracted driving. Ontario ranks second at 14.75%.

In Canada, 1,762 people died on the roads in 2019. Distracted driving is estimated to be responsible for 21% of these fatalities, representing a total of 370 deaths across the country over that year.

As concerns Manitoba, the trend is rather different when looking at road collision statistics:

  • With "only" 16.8% of road collisions caused by distracted driving, Manitoba has the lowest percentage of the 6 provinces studied in that regard
  • Overall, distracted driving represents 11,800 road crashes every year in Manitoba
  • In BC, this percentage reaches 35.2%, which makes this province the most affected one as concerns distracted driving crashes.

These numbers tend to show that not so many crashes are caused by distracted driving in Manitoba, but those crashes are more fatal there than in the other provinces.

ProvincesCrashes distractedTotal police reported crashesProportion
British Colombia12,47635,44635.20%
Saskatchewan6,55224,14327.14%
Alberta*33,581133,12425.23%
Ontario9,46143,35321.82%
Quebec5,90328,10921.00%
Manitoba11,80070,08116.84%
Proportion of road crashes caused by distracted driving (source : ICBC, MPI, SAAQ, governments of Saskatchewan, Ontario and Alberta)

*The numbers for Alberta are not those of the crashes reported by the police, but the overall estimated number of crashes estimated by the government. This explains the big difference with the other provinces. The percentage of distracted driving-related crashes is the most significant indicator to consider here.

$102.3 million: the estimated cost of distracted driving to car insurance companies in Canada in 2021

Obviously, the road injuries and crashes caused by distracted driving have a cost for the car insurance companies. We estimate it to be around $102 million per year. Every year the distracted driving statistics increase, and we have tried to estimate what that could cost car insurance in the near future.

For this, we have built two scenarios, considering that (unfortunately), distracting driving-related collisions will continue to increase :

Scenario 1A 2% annual increase in distracted driving-related collisions in Canada
Scenario 2A 5% annual increase in distracted driving-related collisions in Canada

And here is what our projections show:

  • In our "optimistic" scenario, distracted driving will end up costing $122.3 million by 2030, meaning a $20 million increase for car insurance companies in comparison with 2021
  • In our "pessimistic" scenario, distracted driving could end up costing $158.7 million by 2030, meaning a $55.7 million increase for car insurance companies in comparison with 2021.

A poll conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation in 2020 gives interesting insights on distracted driving in Canada. "Almost one in ten Canadian drivers (9.7%) reported texting while driving in 2019. This represents an increase over 2018, when 7.5% reported doing so, and a 102% increase compared to 2010. Talking on a handheld device while driving also increased to 11.7% from 9.3% in 2018; however, talking on a hands-free device decreased from 36.5% to 32%", the document states.

With a $672 distracted driving minimum fine, Manitoba is the most severe province in Canada

Legislation exists in all Canadian provinces prohibiting the use of mobile phones while driving. All provinces have their own legislation and punishment for this type of infraction. However, the line chart below shows that the level of severity regarding distracted driving depends on the provinces :

We can see that with a $672 minimum fine for distracted driving, Manitoba is the most severe province of Canada regarding distracted driving. On the opposite, in New-Brunswick, the distracted driving minimum is only about $172.5. That severity may explain to a certain extent the good results of Manitoba in terms of road crashed caused by distracted driving.

Our methodology

The above-mentioned information is accurate as of the date of publication. All our studies are based on reliable information sourced from public and private organizations. For further information on our editorial guidelines please click here.

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