Average annual pedestrian deaths on the rise, CAA-Quebec says
CAA-Quebec says the 2019 road report released on May 8 by the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) may cast a shadow on concerning statistics related to pedestrians.
Pedestrians and cyclists were the most vulnerable road users in 2019. The number who died while using roads last year, 71, represents an increase of 18.7 per cent when compared to the average of the previous five years, CAA says.
The SAAQ recorded 70 pedestrian deaths in 2018, 75 in 2017, 60 in 2016 and 44 in 2015, despite recent vehicles being better equipped to protect pedestrians in the event of a collision (due to more efficient automatic emergency brakes).
Marco Harrison, a road safety expert and director of the CAA-Quebec Foundation, said hypotheses related to the increase – such as drivers distracted by technology, infrastructure safety, and recklessness and distraction on the part of pedestrians – must be studied.
Harrison predicts the swift drop in the number of vehicles on the roads during the COVID-19 pandemic will improve the road safety record for 2020, but he hopes further action will be taken to protect pedestrians.
The road accident report for 2019 compiled a total of 333 deaths in Quebec, which is 22 less than the previous year. The worst year was 1973, when 2,209 deaths took place even though less people had driver’s licences and less cars were in circulation.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 21, 2020.