Third straight year of historically low traffic deaths, but even one is one too many.
Collisions on Saskatchewan roads resulted in the deaths of 87 people in 2021, according to preliminary statistics* from SGI.
This is a continuation of the long-term downward trend in road fatalities in Saskatchewan, as the last three years have each had historically low numbers in Saskatchewan’s recorded history.
The 87 fatalities recorded in 2021 matches the number from 2020, which is the second-lowest number of road fatalities recorded in a single year since the 1950s. (The lowest number of collision deaths ever recorded in Saskatchewan was 71 in 2019.)
“It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that these aren’t simply numbers on a chart,” said Minister Responsible for SGI Don Morgan. “No one should ever die due to a motor vehicle collision, and no family should ever have to experience this type of loss.”
“Statistically speaking, Saskatchewan roads are the safest they’ve ever been,” said SGI Vice-President of Traffic Safety Kwei Quaye. “However, there is still significant room for improvement, and every driver has the ability to contribute to safer roads for themselves, other drivers and all road users. SGI will continue our dedicated efforts to reduce crash fatalities, in conjunction with our road safety partners.”
While not all collision investigations are complete, the preliminary data available for 2021 concludes that impairment, speeding, distraction and not wearing a seatbelt remain Saskatchewan’s Big Four traffic safety concerns.
For the investigations that are complete:
-In more than one-third of vehicle occupant*** deaths, the victim was not wearing his or her seatbelt, or was improperly restrained. Since approximately 95 per cent of people consistently wear their seatbelts, the small number who don’t are killed at a much higher rate. Seatbelts save lives. Always buckle up.
-Driver impairment remains the leading cause of fatalities. Drive sober, and stop impaired family and friends from driving impaired.
-Excessive speed and driver distraction/inattention are each factors in more than one out of every five deaths. Obey speed limits and avoid distractions.
*The 2021 number is considered preliminary, based on data available from police forces in Saskatchewan, and may be adjusted.
**Fatalities are one measurement of road safety — and an important one, given the serious and tragic nature of a loss of life. However, because the fatality number is a relatively small statistical sample, it is subject to a degree of fluctuation year to year. Finalized injury and overall collision data is not yet available. Once it is, it will provide a more complete picture of road safety trends in Saskatchewan.
*** Refers to vehicle crash deaths in which seatbelts were available to the victims (e.g. excludes pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and ATV riders).