[Road safety] Distracted driving is responsible for 41% of road fatalities in Saskatchewan

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

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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

33 deaths

Are caused every year

because of distracted drivers across Saskatchewan

33 Sask drivers die every year because of distracted driving

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

Indeed, the data we could consult on the governmental websites show that:

Good to know

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.

That trend also reflects when looking at the numbers of motor vehicle collisions in the same 6 provinces:

  • Distracted driving seems to be particularly problematic in Saskatchewan, with more than a quarter (27.1%) of total motor vehicle crashes estimated to be related to distracted driving.
  • This represents a total of more than 24,000 distracted driving related crashes every year across Sask!
  • In BC, this percentage reaches 35.2%, which makes this province the most affected one as concerns distracted driving crashes
  • Manitoba is the least-affected province among the 6 studied, at 16.9% of road crashes related to distracted driving.
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)

Watch out!

*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:

Good to know

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 $580 distracted driving minimum fine, Sask among the most severe provinces 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 $580 minimum fine for distracted driving, Saskatchewan ranks among the 5 most severe provinces regarding distracted driving. On the opposite, in New-Brunswick, the distracted driving minimum is only about $172.5. The most severe province in that regard is Manitoba, with a $672 minimum for using an electronic device while 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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Alexandre Desoutter
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