Crash victims weren't wearing seatbelts in 45 Quebec road deaths in 2018
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, January 3, 2019 9:12AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 3, 2019 7:35PM EST
As many as 45 people died on Quebec roads in 2018 because they weren't wearing seatbelts – almost double the number from the year before.
The Surete du Quebec's annual road safety report, released Thursday, revealed preliminary data on collision in the province.
According to the report, the number of fatal collisions decreased from 243 in 2017 to 235 last year. The number of automobile-related deaths also fell from 268 to 253.
Seatbelts have been mandatory in Quebec since 1976, but after more than 40 years of the life-saving legislation, some still aren’t following the law.
“Unfortunately our preliminary record shows the numbers have almost doubled compared to 2017 where 23 victims who died in car collisions who were not wearing the seatbelt compared to 45 in 2018,” said SQ spokesperson Joyce Kemp.
Overall, the SQ report shows fewer people dying on Quebec roads: fatal collisions decreased from 243 in 2017 to 235 last year. The number of automobile-related deaths also fell from 268 to 253.
The report also shows fewer deaths among youth aged 16 to 24 - a decrease from 57 per cent in 2017, to 39 in 2018.
The AQ attributes that to the amendments in the Highway Safety Code.
“They have a limited number of passengers that they can have in their vehicle after midnight, so those are things that may indicate why they’re a decrease in the representation of drivers and passengers between 16 and 24 years old,” said Kemp.
The top three reasons for fatal collisions remain the same:
The number of fatal crashes linked to excessive speed decreased from 76 to 72 over one year; however, the SQ reported that speeding still causes approximately 30 per cent of road accidents.
2: Distracted driving
Distracted driving, including the use of cell phones, was the cause of approximately 11 per cent of deadly accidents.
3: Impaired driving
Impaired driving with alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both, comes third, despite a slight decrease to 8 per cent in 2018.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving is skeptical of that statistic.
“If an impaired driver crashes into a vehicle, they will do the autopsy on the dead driver. If the dead driver is a sober driver, that crash is not alcohol related and yet it’s an impaired driver who caused the crash,” said MADD Montreal's Director at Large, Theresa-Anne Kramer.