A press release was published earlier this week outlining the increase of pedestrians in Toronto that have been killed in a car-related accident. According to the general insurer RSA Canada, fatal and non-fatal pedestrian car collisions have increased between 2014 and 2016. The Toronto Police statistics the agency is referencing said that in 2016, 1,958 pedestrians were injured by vehicles, while only 1,906 were injured in 2014.
The press release included a number of tips for drivers and pedestrians to try and reduce that number for the future. The tips were really insightful — things like pay attention and wear reflecting clothing.
You know, useful tips no one knows about.
It would be great if insurers, as well as politicians and the people keeping count of the many fatalities and injuries caused by car accidents, also took that much interest in the mechanisms that make our roads safe. Things like guide rails and medians, which in the event of an accident, will help protect the occupants of a vehicle and prevent further injury.
Accidents will happen. While some car crashes will be preventable, others are inevitable. Icy roads, difficult weather conditions, and unforeseen circumstances will happen — that’s why they are called unforeseen. The best thing for insurance companies to do, as well as municipalities, is to audit safety mechanisms and focus on road engineering. For example, most guide rails in Ontario haven’t been audited or replaced in over 30 years, meaning that many of them are below standard. In fact, in 2006, a new crash-testing model called MASH (Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware) was released that called for more documentation and stringent crash-testing standard.
If insurance companies focused on that instead of “distracted driving tips”, then maybe there would be less fatalities when an accident does occur.
Remember — roads are only as safe as they are built!