It’s a tragedy when someone dies in a car crash. Because crashes are so sudden, the people left behind can feel like the floor was pulled out from under them, and they may struggle for years to find answers to all the what if questions they have. Unfortunately data recently complied by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) isn’t going to help victim’s families find closure, because they found that the vast majority of the crashes claiming lives over the past 10 years were completely preventable.
It all comes down to driver’s behaviours and what choices they make when it comes to the ‘Big Four’ reasons for road fatalities in Ontario – distracted driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt or a helmet, and impaired driving are the four main reason people die in crashes, and although the OPP has seen the number of fatal crashes drop over a ten year period, they’ve trended up and down in recent years.
Take impaired driving for example – although the OPP found that the rates for impaired driving fatalities declined since 2005 with 63 people killed, they jumped to 93 fatalities in 2007 before dropping back down to 46 fatalities in 2014. That significant drop in impaired driving fatalities could be due to strict Ontario impaired driving laws. Even if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in the warn range of .05 to .08, you could have your license suspended immediately. If you blow over .08 on a breathalyzer, you’ll pay fines, lose your driver’s license for one year, and must install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
Ontario’s ignition interlock laws are one sure way to keep preventable impaired driving crashes from occurring. Because first offenders are required to use the interlock device for one year after conviction, they won’t be able to make the choice to drink and drive. If they drink, the car simply won’t start.
For more information on how ignition interlocks save lives in Ontario, take a look at Ignition Interlock Devices Stop Drunk Drivers In Their Tracks.