Quebec City Accident Rates Drastically Higher than Montreal

Quebec City Accident Rates Drastically Higher than Montreal

The Quebec City accident rate is way above the provincial average and is even worse than Montreal, as revealed by a survey conducted by TC Média, based on data compiled by the Société d’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) over the past seven years. Known for its high accident rate across Quebec, Montreal is in 107th place (out of 180) with a rate of 13.51 accidents per 1 000 inhabitants. This is far behind Quebec City, which is in the 59th place with an average of 19.58 accidents per 1 000 inhabitants.

Such a result places drivers in the Capital in a less enviable situation compared to the rest of the province and villages due to its far more hazardous road conditions. These categories show the respective 16.04 and 18.86 balances for accidents per 1 000 inhabitants. The positive aspects is that Quebec fared better in relation to those  wounded or killed by road accidents, compared to the provincial average.

“It should be noted that the Capital Region has an average (over 7 years) of vehicles 748.2 per 1000 vehicles on the road while the in the province is 736.2 per 1000 people. In addition, there are 678 licensed drivers per 1000 compared to 642.1 per 1000 throughout the province.  In these circumstances, the capital boast a better record,” added the Directorate of Studies and road safety strategies at the SAAQ.

Risk areas

TC Média’s survey determined that the city of Mont-Tremblant, with 9430 residents (in 2012), and 2 million visitors each year, has the darkest record.  It boasts the highest rate of accidents in the past seven years in la Belle province with 34.48 accidents per 1,000 inhabitants. The municipalities Joliette (31.29), Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts (27.71), Saguenay (27.30) and La Tuque (26.05) made the top five.

Jean -Marie De Koninck, president of the Quebec Board of road safety and professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University Laval finds the data interesting and reliable. “However, we must look at the reasons and circumstances. There among others is the influx of tourism and the presence of larger trucks is causes more serious accidents,” he explains.

Narrow two-way roads, sharp curves , old roads are among the aspects that may explain why some municipalities have higher accidents, said Mr. De Koninck . This probably explains why outlying areas as Charlevoix and Portneuf show higher averages of accidents per 1 000 inhabitants. This is particularly the case in La Malbaie (25.79), Baie-Saint-Paul (25.01), St. Catherine (20.42) and Donnacona (16.62) as well as Stoneham the entryway to the Parc Laurentians (19.1).

“It is difficult to locate portions of roads that could be problematic in the areas mentioned. Note that the main arteries of these are, for the most part, roads with speeds averaging 90 km/h which the roadways for each direction are not separated. We know that these roads are more accident-prone than those whose paths are separated by a median or a woodland for example, “says the SAAQ.

Moreover, the urban density in city makes it unsurprisingly that it is a location where there are more accidents. Between 2006 and 2012, no fewer than 164,152 accidents occurred in Montreal. In order, Quebec (71,533), Laval (35 106), Ottawa (31 383), Saguenay (27478) Trois-Rivieres (21 139), Longueuil (21 054), Sherbrooke (18 852) and Levis (18 103) completed the top 10 of the greatest number of collisions. In all the municipalities of less than 5,000 people in Quebec, there are just over 170,000 collisions.

Corrective Infrastructure

The Ministry of Transport Quebec (MTQ) annually publishes a list of sites with potential for improvement. This year, forty places were targeted to improve road safety. “A site for improvement is a site with limited dimension which was the scene of serious, fatal or a high number of accidents can be reduced by corrective infrastructure,” said Sarah Bensadoun, spokesman for the MTQ, adding that for 2012-13 approximately $275M was invested for this purpose.

“In determining these locations, the department must locate all the accidents that have been mentioned in police reports. Specifically, the analysis takes into account several factors, including traffic volume, speed, type of infrastructure and topography. To quantify the risk level of a site, the MTQ look three criteria: severity, frequency and rate of accidents,” Ms. Bensadoun.

Jean- Marie De Koninck notes, however, that the responsibility lies with the drivers, not the SQ, the SAAQ or MTQ. “The individual is responsible. Don’t drink and drive, stay alert and well rested, and do not use cell phones while driving. You should also know what you’re getting when go down and unknown road,” he recommends.

………………………………………………… Staff Writer

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