Ontario’s Worst and Best Cities based on driving records revealed, new 2019 study

A graphic of two cars colliding.We grade the cities across Ontario based on tickets and collisions of its hometown drivers.

Your driving record and history has a direct impact on the auto insurance premiums you pay. With tickets and collisions on your record, you can expect to pay more for your auto insurance than if you didn’t. It’s a reality that most drivers know and expect.

You might also expect, however, that residents in large urban areas, like Toronto, would report having more tickets on their driving record, on average, as well as collisions. It’s a big city after all with more vehicles on the road and drivers, and thus a greater chance for something to happen.

Yet, according to InsuranceHotline.com this may be a myth. Based on the details provided by shoppers who obtained Ontario auto insurance quotes, you have to look beyond Toronto’s borders to find the cities whose drivers admit to having the most tickets, collisions, or a combination of the two, on their driving record. These are infractions and collisions that could have occurred in the driver’s hometown or anywhere their travels have taken them.

We measured all three categories, and then assigned each city a grade based on its variance from the Ontario average.

In Orangeville, for example, drivers were 1.9 times as likely to have a ticket, accident, or both, on their record than the Ontario average. In North York, a driver is 22 percent less likely to have a ticket, crash or both on their record than the average, and Toronto drivers are 21 percent less likely to have a black mark on their driving record.

The Top 10 Worst Cities in Ontario for Driving

City/Town Grade
Orangeville D
Bradford D
Woodstock D
Sault Ste. Marie D
Brantford D
Orillia D
Thunder Bay C
St. Thomas C
Caledon C
Barrie C

The Top 10 Best Cities in Ontario for Driving

City/Town Grade
North York A
Toronto A
East York A
Etobicoke A
Mississauga A
Brampton A
Scarborough A
York A
Thornhill A
Oakville A

Breaking it Down

The Lowdown on Tickets

On average, 6.9 percent of drivers in the province admit to having at least one ticket on their driving record while getting quotes. However, drivers in some cities and towns exceed this average considerably.

City/Town % of Drivers with a Ticket (No collision)
Caledon 15.0%
Orangeville 13.2%
Bradford 12.2%
Peterborough 12.0%
St. Thomas 11.2%
Sudbury 11.0%
Thunder Bay 10.9%
Bolton 10.8%
Stoney Creek 10.6%

Accidentally Speaking

From a collision standpoint, overall 8.9 percent of Ontario drivers admit to having been involved in a collision in the last 10 years. Yet, there are areas in the province where the average is two full percentage points higher.

City/Town % of Drivers with a Collision (No tickets)
Woodstock 13.6%
Orleans 12.8%
Sault Ste. Marie 12.4%
Kanata 12.3%
Gloucester 12.2%
Whitby 11.5%
Pickering 11.5%
Brantford 11.3%
Orillia 11.2%
Burlington 10.9%

Double Trouble

Having both a ticket and collision on your driving record is detrimental to your auto insurance premiums and approximately 3.5 percent of Ontario drivers admit to having at least one of each in their relatively recent past. In 13 communities across the province, however, the average is 5.5 percent or higher.

City/Town % of Drivers with both a Ticket and Collision
Orangeville 9.4%
Bradford 8.4%
Sault Ste. Marie 8.4%
Woodstock 7.4%
Brantford 6.9%
Orillia 6.6%
Cambridge 6.3%
Thunder Bay 6.3%
St. Thomas 5.9%
Barrie 5.9%
Welland 5.8%
Oshawa 5.6%
Pickering 5.5%

What’s It All Mean to Your Ontario Car Insurance?

Your driving record matters. Your driving record is an influential factor in determining your Ontario auto insurance rate. Sure, there are others like where you live, your insurance history, and the type of car you drive; but your driving record and history is indicative of how you are when behind the wheel. Every at-fault (or partially at-fault) accident or traffic ticket conviction will likely increase the cost of your premiums.

What’s more, traffic ticket convictions affect your insurance rates for no less than three years and accidents stay on your record for at least six! With a less than perfect driving record, you can find yourself paying a lot of extra premium over the years.

Whatever your driving record, compare quotes each year to ensure you are getting the best car insurance rates going. Each insurance company calculates their rates differently and if your driving record changes, for any reason, the insurer who last offered you the best insurance rate, may no longer be your best choice.

Compare car insurance quotes at InsuranceHotline.com from 30+ providers in a single search. Start saving money today on the premiums you pay.

Who should bear the financial risk of flooding?

OTTAWA — Federal, provincial and municipal governments can do a better job of protecting homeowners from the escalating financial risks of flooding, says a new report released Tuesday by the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

The report, the product of work by a national working group co-chaired by the bureau and the federal Public Safety Department, says the worsening threat means the country has to change how it covers the resulting cost of such disasters.

“Taxpayers cannot continue bailing out people who live on floodplains,” said Craig Stewart, a vice president at IBC and co-chair of the working group.

“We need an alternative, and this report presents three viable options drawing upon international experience.”

About one-fifth of homes in Canada are at risk of overland flooding, while insurance payouts have surged to about $1 billion per year over the past six years, the report estimates. Federal government transfer payments for all forms of flood damage, meanwhile, have quadrupled over the last four decades, reaching about $3.7 billion during the first four years of this decade, compared with just $300 million during the 1970s.

The three options laid out in the report include a pure market approach where risk is borne by homeowners; one in which government is more involved, and finally the creation of a high-risk pool of funds to help manage the financial risk.

All three options are viable, the report says, though its analysis suggests the high-risk scheme fares better than others at meeting certain core principles like affordability, efficiency and financial sustainability. But the report stops short of making a firm recommendation on any of the options.

The advantage of the high-risk scheme is that it allows insurers to pass on some risks to a larger pool of available money. Homeowners would pay premiums for flood insurance, which insurers would then feed into the pool. If a homeowner makes a claim, the insurance company would pay out to the customer and then claim their own reimbursement from the pool.

Homeowners might not even know they’re in the high-risk pool, Stewart said, but it allows insurance companies to avoid some of the risk involved with insuring people whose homes may be flooded.

The cost of the premiums feeding into the pool should be based on the risk of flooding, Stewart said, and if subsidies are capped, the pool will need a source of money to make up the loss.

As for the source of money to get the pool off the ground and keep it sustainable, “It could be anything,” he said, including property taxes or insurance premium levies.

Ideally, Steward said, the scheme would help lower the risk enough so the high-risk pool wouldn’t be necessary. A similar model was implemented in 2016 in the United Kingdom, and has a projected lifespan of 25 years.

“For that to happen,” Stewart cautioned, “you need to have significant government investment in mitigation over those 25 years.”

While the federal government has promised $2 billion for disaster preparedness, the report notes “ongoing funding” is needed.

Stewart said the IBC is currently working with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to figure out how much money it will cost to make Canada resilient to flooding, as well as other natural disasters.

More money from government is one of several key factors that the report says are needed to address flood risk in addition to an insurance system.

Another is making sure individuals have an incentive to take action on their own, Stewart said. That means increasing public awareness of risks so homeowners will make their properties more resilient and react to the price of insurance premiums.

Meanwhile, improving the quality of data, like mapping flood risk zones, is “the single greatest thing the federal government can do in the near term,” Stewart said.

Moving people away from high-risk flood zones should be a part of the government’s response as well, he added. Paying people to relocate might be the best way to do that, the report suggests.

Will cover commercially viable sales contracts of canola seed, oil and meal

Read more

Tax levies, subsidies could pay for high-risk flood insurance, report says

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Ignoring Your Own Safety #DriveSmartBC

 

SeatbeltWhen I learned to drive more than 4 decades ago, seatbelts were becoming standard equipment on all vehicles. Fast forward to today and we have seatbelts, multiple airbags and a host of automatic systems designed to either avoid a crash or minimize the damage to us if we are in one. Why then do some of us ignore the systems that are there for our protection?

A decade ago seatbelt use rates were about 97% for drivers of cars or light trucks in B.C. according to Transport Canada. That said, one does not have to sit for very long today watching traffic pass in urban areas to find drivers who do not buckle up. Why ignore what is probably the simplest and most effective device in your vehicle that helps you avoid injury?

Have you read your vehicle’s owners manual to learn about airbags and how they protect you in a collision? If you have you will realize that you must wear your seatbelt to avoid injury caused by being out of place if it deploys. You must also sit upright in your seat when the vehicle is being driven.

Yesterday I was filling my fuel tank and watching the passenger in the vehicle beside me. She had her feet up on the dash and remained that way when her friend finished fueling and drove away. I shudder to think of what would happen to her if that airbag deployed.

If you buy a new vehicle today you will find that it can be equipped with many safety systems such as automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning. Remember that owners manual? There will be some study required to learn how they work, how you should use them and when they cannot protect you.

The sensors for these systems require regular maintenance by the driver to keep them functional. Be sure to read your owners manual or at least have the dealership demonstrate what needs to be done before you drive off the lot.

Vehicle computers store data about faults. If fault codes are stored for malfunctioning safety systems it is conceivable that you could bear some responsibility for injuries sustained in a crash. Ignoring these new safety systems could also place you in a bad position post-collision.

Ignoring your own safety as a driver today may have many unintended consequences that can also extend to your passengers. RTFM (Refer to Factory Manual) might be the smartest (and safest) thing that you can do!

If you drive distracted, you could miss out on life

If you drive distracted, you could miss out on life

SGI launches campaign with a clear message: “Distracted driving kills”

Kailynn Bursic-Panchuk was preoccupied with her cellphone when she drove into the path of a train; the resulting collision was catastrophic and left the Weyburn teenager in critical condition.

Kailynn’s tragic story is a part of SGI’s latest distracted driving awareness campaign that launches this weekend, coinciding with the June Traffic Safety Spotlight on distracted driving.

“When we got to the hospital and the doctor told me Kailynn needed surgery to relieve the pressure on her brain, I was lost. This is supposed to happen in movies, not in real life,” said Kailynn’s mom, Sandra LaRose.

Kailynn’s injuries would prove fatal – five days later her family made the difficult decision to take her off life support. Kailynn had just turned 17 years old.

SGI’s poignant campaign has a clear message: distracted driving kills – don’t miss out on life. The campaign features a 60-second video that shows a young woman dreaming of her life ahead and milestone moments. Those dreams are followed by the nightmare of a head-on collision caused by a distracted driver. Kailynn’s photo and a brief narration by LaRose conclude the video.

“I hope this province-wide campaign will help make the consequences of distracted driving more real to people,” said Minister Responsible for SGI Joe Hargrave. “I am grateful to Sandra for sharing her voice and her daughter’s tragic story, and hopeful it will encourage people to avoid all distractions while they drive, including their phones. There should never be another story like Kailynn’s.”

The ad will run online, in cinemas and on television. The campaign will also feature newspaper, radio and billboard advertising. Beginning in July, there will be shorter online videos focusing on common distracted driving behaviours, along with matching radio spots that will run all year. Visit www.sgi.sk.ca/distracted-driving-kills to see the campaign.

For Sandra LaRose, the tragic, preventable death of her daughter has spurred her to speak out about the issue of distracted driving.

“Hopefully people will realize that phone call is not important, that notification is not important, that music is not important; it will wait,” said LaRose. “Life will still go on if you don’t take that call. It’s literally a split second – that’s all it takes. You have control over that object – put your phone away.”

Driver distraction or inattention is the leading cause of collisions and injury on Saskatchewan roads, and one of the leading factors in fatal collisions. In 2017, 26 people died and 953 were injured in distracted driving collisions in Saskatchewan.

 

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