Why Pedestrian Deaths are On the Rise in Canada

Canada is among only 7 industrialized nations in the world where pedestrian deaths are on the increase. There are many reasons for this, most being some form of irresponsible driving, but the largest reason is the lack of law enforcement.

The RCMP are not out with radar guns ready to catch speed demons, and suddenly it is considered an unwritten rule to drive at least 10km over the posted speed limit. The police cannot, and do not pull over everyone who is speeding, and councils are not reducing the speed limits in major cities, so roads have become filled with dangerous speeders, which is a very large part of pedestrian fatality. As well, irresponsible drivers are not caught and penalized, so these drivers are on the roads, and are a danger to other motorists and pedestrians.

The increase can also be attributed to the rise in cell phone related accidents, as drivers and pedestrians alike travel distracted, and put themselves and others at a greater risk to becoming involved in a pedestrian-motorist collision. Additionally, over half of pedestrian fatalities in 2019 occurred between November and March, the icier, darker, and more dangerous months of year.

According to the American Automobile Association, drivers under the age of 39, both male and female, are usually the more aggressive drivers who are engaging in speeding, road rage, cutting off other drivers, running red lights, and tailgating. On the other end of the spectrum, most victims of pedestrian death are 55 and older.

There are on average, 300 pedestrian deaths annually, Canada wide, and the numbers are only increasing. As long as dangerous driving habits are nationally accepted by civilians and law enforcement, they will keep happening, and endangering the vulnerable pedestrians that will suffer the consequences.

As a driver, slow down, do not speed, focus on driving, and do not get distracted by cell phones, navigation systems, passengers, or pets. As a pedestrian, scan for cars who are driving irresponsibly, or who may not see you, so be ready to react defensively. These simple steps can save your life or someone else’s – because everything can change in an instant.

CLG Injury Law has over 35 years’ experience representing Atlantic Canadians who have suffered injuries following a motor vehicle accident. For more articles and safety tips, go to or subscribe to our newsletter.

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