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Motor Vehicle Incidents

Motor vehicle incident

What are motor vehicle incidents?

Motor vehicle collisions are one of the leading causes of workers' injuries and fatalities in Ontario. This doesn’t just include vehicles operating on roads and highways, but also powered industrial vehicles or powered mobile industrial equipment in the workplace including vehicles used to lift and move material, such as forklifts, pallet trucks, walkie stackers and scissor lifts.

MVI’s are the biggest risk Ontarians face each day they go to work.

What the law says

Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) requires that employers take every reasonable precaution to protect workers, provide information and instruction, and ensure that workers properly use or wear the required equipment. Employers, supervisors and workers can be prosecuted for not complying with the law.

How motor vehicle safety affects your business

In 2019, the Ministry of Transportation reported that there were 509 fatal collisions and more than 32,000 personal injury collisions in the province of Ontario, resulting in 543 deaths and 45,647 injuries. On an average day in Ontario, motor vehicle collisions will kill 1.4 persons and injure more than 125 others.[1]

Major factors contributing to MVIs include:

  1. Impairment as a result of alcohol or drugs
  2. Being inattentive, distracted or fatigued
  3. Aggressive behaviour, such as driving too fast

What you can do

As an employer:

  • If you have workers that drive for your business, put policies and procedures in place to promote responsible driving.
  • Reward sustained responsible driving.
  • Monitor workplace driving to ensure that your workers are following your policies and procedures.

As a driver:

  • Slow down: drive within the speed limit and adjust your speed for weather and road conditions. Follow vehicles at a safe distance.
  • Relax: in stressful driving conditions, take a deep breath and relax. An aggressive state of mind will come through in your driving behaviour.
  • Stay alert: don't drive until you are mentally and physically able to. If you become drowsy or uncomfortable, pull over immediately and take a break.
  • Plan ahead: plan your route before you start out. If you're unfamiliar with where you're going, check your map or plot the route with GPS, before you start off.
  • Buckle up: wearing a seat belt is the law and it could end up saving your life. Wearing your seat belt properly will dramatically increase your chances of surviving a motor vehicle collision. If you are the driver, ensure all children 16 years and under are properly secured.
  • Don't drink and drive: refuse to ride with someone who may be impaired. Choose a designated driver before going out or set some money aside for a taxi/ride-share.

[1] Preliminary 2019 Ontario Road Safety Annual Report Selected Statistics, Road Safety Research Office, Safety Policy and Education Branch, Ontario Ministry of Transportation. 2020