Halifax ranks at bottom in safe driving study

Tailgating and driving too fast are some of the reasons Halifax has claimed the title of Canadian collision capital for the third year in a row in an insurance company study.

In its ninth annual Safe Driving Study, Allstate Canada found Halifax had the highest collision frequency at 7.9 per 100 cars, slightly up from 7.7 in 2016. Halifax claimed the 93rd spot on the list of 93 communities in the study.

"Following too closely, speed will factor in. The data is mostly out there for us to have a conversation … about how we can improve, how we can have less collisions," said Allstate spokesman Matt Conrad in Dartmouth.

Hanmer, Ont., located outside of Sudbury, was the community with the safest drivers, with a 3.6 per cent collision rate.

Drive extra carefully on Fridays

The 2017 study examined collision data of Allstate Canada customers in 93 cities in four provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Alberta and Ontario. Among those provinces, the 2017 collision rate was highest, at 6.1 per cent, in Nova Scotia. New Brunswick had the lowest collision rate of the four provinces, at five per cent. 

The Allstate study also found Friday is the day of the week with the highest collision rate, and Sunday has the lowest.

"Everyone can draw their own conclusions but I would say, people trying to get home from work, whatever reason, maybe they have plans, maybe they are excited to be home for the weekend or whatever it may be, but Friday seems to be the point where we see a bit of spike," Conrad said. 

"This is where the conversation may come in. If people are aware, then they can be more aware of their driving habits." 

February bad month for crashes

Other cities rated by vehicle collision frequency included:

- Toronto - 7.3 per cent.

- Ottawa - 6.8 per cent.

- Edmonton - 6.4 per cent.

- Calgary - 6.0 per cent.

- Moncton - 6.0 per cent.

- Fredericton - 5.5 per cent.

Collision claims peak in February, followed by December. The lowest numbers recorded are in April and August, respectively.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, rear-ending is the most common type of collision, followed by those occurring in intersections while vehicles are turning. Head-on collisions are the least frequent.

Other contributing factors in high collision rates are:

- Distracted driving.

- Not sharing the road with others.

- Too much noise inside the vehicle and wearing headphones while driving.

- Driving while impaired.

- Not driving according to weather conditions.

Nova Scotia premiums 2nd lowest

Nova Scotia's higher-than-average collision rate doesn't translate into higher premiums across the province.

"How we determine premiums is not actually based on this study," Conrad said. "Generally on average, if you look at some of average premiums throughout the country, even though you may see a high-frequency rate in Nova Scotia, I think we are tied with New Brunswick for the second lowest average premiums in the country after Quebec."