Public Auto Insurance: A Mortality Warning for Motorists

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Many Canadians see motor vehicle ownership and operation as a necessity of modern life. For example, usages rates (the ratio of drivers to population) are very high, averaging over 90 percent for most driving age groups.

However, driving a vehicle is also a relatively dangerous activity.

Though only 1.4 per cent of all deaths in Canada are attributed to vehicle collisions, more than one-third of accidental deaths are caused by such collisions. These rates rise to one-third of all deaths, and over 70 percent of accidental deaths, for young people aged 15 to 24. The odds of a death by collision are 30 times higher for these young people than for the rest of the population.

Collisions are the leading cause of severe injuries for Canadians under the age of 65, typically requiring surgery and time in an intensive care unit. While the number of collisions is down 11 percent over the past decade - owing to better driving habits, tougher drunk driving laws and safer vehicle design - there are still over 220,000 injuries and over 28,000 acute care hospital injury admissions every year.

Vehicle collisions also create a substantial economic and financial cost.

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