The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) asked people to be safe on the roads and check the condition of their cars, especially if they had not been used recently. In particular, officers asked drivers to ensure all their lights were working, and to have their brake fluid, pads and rotors checked.
After months of dealing with snow and mud, police recommended checking windshield washer fluid and replacing wiper blades, especially those that had been worn down. For those switching out their winter tires, the police reminded drivers to have their wheels re-torqued after travelling 100 kilometres.
Police are hoping to avoid a repeat of 2020’s high road fatality numbers. While crashes and fatalities were lower than in 2019, the rate of deaths from those collisions was higher. There were 305 fatalities on OPP-patrolled roads during 2020, compared to 335 in 2019. Motorcycle fatalities rose sharply between the two years, from 27 in 2019 to 42 in 2020.
While there were 26 percent fewer collisions in 2020 compared to 2019, the fatality rate was 22 percent higher. Speed, alcohol or drug use, and driver inattention were among the leading factors in the crashes, while 55 deaths were linked to a lack of seatbelt use.