Ottawa, ON: A pedestrian has died after being struck by a car on Walkley Road on Monday night. This marks the second fatal collision in Ottawa involving a pedestrian in less than a week; a pedestrian was struck and killed in Orléans just last Thursday.
The Ottawa Safety Council is urging motorists to practice responsible road habits to help keep pedestrians and cyclists – our most vulnerable road users – safe this season.
Distracted, fatigued, and impaired driving, speeding and environmental conditions are all leading causes of fatal road crashes. With that said, 90 per cent of motor vehicle collisions are preventable (Parachute Canada), so we as drivers have the ability to avoid these accidents by changing our road behaviour. According to the Ottawa Police Board, in 2021 collisions on Ottawa roads declined by 5 per cent. However, the number of fatalities jumped by 25 percent to 20. Of those fatalities, five involved pedestrians, which is three more than we saw in 2020.
“Even one pedestrian death is one too many,” says Jamie Kwong, Executive Director of the Ottawa Safety Council. “We need to be mindful that our vulnerable road users don’t have the protection that a vehicle provides; when a collision happens, it’s more likely to be fatal.”
Here are some things that motorists should consider in order to keep our most vulnerable road users safe:
- Speeding is fatal: A pedestrian struck by a car traveling at 50 km/h is almost six times more likely to be killed than a pedestrian struck at 30 km/h. (Parachute Canada) Transport Canada’s National Collision Database reports that 25 per cent of fatal collisions involve speeding.
- Most collisions happen during peak rush hour times (4-8PM) due to higher levels of traffic and fatigue. When Day Light Savings time ends in the fall, our drives home may be plagued by fatigue, which affects your body in ways that are similar to being impaired by alcohol or drugs. This can be made much worse when you add in the decreased visibility that happens in the evening. Drive safe and slowly, turn your headlights on and leave extra space with other road users.
- As we head into the winter season, weather and road conditions will contribute to accidents. Roads will become slippery and winter tires are imperative to give you traction on the roads. According to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, 76 per cent of drivers who drive a car equipped with winter tires say that their winter tires have saved them from being involved in a potentially hazardous driving situation.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to practice safe road habits and consider those they are sharing the road with. Everyone deserves to get home this season.
For more information on the OSC and its services, please visit the website at www.ottawasafetycouncil.ca.