How Edmonton’s Collision Report Can Help You Avoid an Accident

There was an average of 228 injury collision a month in Edmonton in 2017, some minor, some significant, but all with a story to tell. Every time there’s a motor vehicle accident, Edmonton’s Traffic Safety section adds the details to their Motor Vehicle Collision Information System (MVCIS) database. And every year, the division creates a report summarizing key trends.  

At Alpine Insurance, our job as insurance brokers is to go the extra mile to help you be more aware of the risks, and we think there’s a lot to be learnt from this report.

Whether you’re in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer or Lethbridge, the key collision causes are likely very similar. So this report is a valuable read for all Albertans to help them understand the most common reasons for collisions.

There were 23,906 collisions in Edmonton in 2017, an increase of 3.3% from 2016. When considered per capita, this is 25.6 collisions per 1,000 people. Of these collisions, 3,048 result in minor injuries, 341 major injuries and 27 were fatalities.

Where do you need to be most careful?

As a driver, it’s valuable to know where and how most collisions happen so that you can be extra cautious in those instances. It only takes a moment for an accident to happen and to find yourself making an insurance claim.

The 2017 Edmonton Collision report shows:

Intersection collisions are frequent and result in injuries

Collisions at intersections made up 58% of total collisions, resulting in 71% of total injuries and 48% of the fatalities. While it may not be possible for you to avoid certain collision when someone else is at fault, drivers should pay particular attention at intersections by watching for signal light changes, turning drivers and pedestrians.

Following too closely is a common cause of collisions

Following too closely was the reason for 37% of collisions in Edmonton in 2017. The good news is that this type of collision is easier to control. The rule of thumb is that you should be at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. This distance should be extended if you are driving at faster distances or when conditions are snowy or icy.

Providing sufficient distance lets you see around the vehicle ahead and gives you enough distance to stop suddenly. You can measure this by picking a stationary object, like a lamp post, and counting the seconds between when the car in front of you passes it and when you pass it.  

Is the person behind you riding your bumper? Find a safe place to pull over and let them pass.

Changing lanes improperly makes up 10% of all collision

We’ve all been taught to shoulder check, but sometimes this simple action gets forgotten or two cars change lanes at the same time. The word of advice here: shoulder check once, then shoulder check again. Never make fast, drastic lane changes and always be aware of what the cars around you are doing.

Left turns across path are a common issue

The dreaded left turn accounted for 7% of all collisions. These types of collisions are often due to poor judgement on the speed of traffic or failing to see other cars or pedestrians. If you aren’t completely sure you’re safe to make the turn, wait. The extra few seconds could save you a lot of grief and an insurance claim.  

The other reasons for collisions were hitting a parked vehicle at 15% and being run off the road at 7%. You can read the full 2017 Edmonton Motor Vehicle Collision Report on the City of Edmonton website.


2017 Edmonton Collision Highlights


Nobody wants to become a collision or insurance stat. While you can’t avoid all accidents, being aware of vehicles around you, taking it slow and following traffic rules can help you and those around you be safer.

If you do get into an accident, make sure you give your Alpine Insurance broker a call as soon as possible. They’ll give you advice on what to do and get your insurance claim processed as quickly as they can.

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