News / Halifax

Crash course: Halifax drivers are the worst according to vehicle collision study

Allstate Canada looked at 93 communities across several provinces and ranked Halifax at the bottom.

People driving in Halifax on the Bedford Highway.

Zane Woodword/Metro File

People driving in Halifax on the Bedford Highway.

The head of a local driving school says Halifax’s pedestrian culture and unfriendly bicycle lanes likely contribute to its Allstate ranking as the city with the worst vehicle collision rates.

The insurance company’s annual Safe Driving Study, released Wednesday, surveyed 93 communities across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Alberta, with Halifax ranking 93rd in terms of worst collision rates.

This was the third year Halifax was ranked at the bottom.

While not directly involved in the survey, Jake McKenna, the owner-operator of Mckenna’s Driving School, said it’s likely a majority of the recorded incidents involve pedestrians and cyclists.

He said the Haligonian habit of cars stopping anywhere to let people cross is part of the problem.

“It comes off as a super friendly thing for outsiders who come here – but it’s actually dangerous,” he said. “We’ve given so much leeway over so many years to pedestrians, people are fearless – they don’t look, they just walk because they think someone is going to stop.”

McKenna said the city’s bicycle lanes – which often end abruptly leading into busy intersections such as the Armdale Rotary – also lead to many accidents involving cyclists.

In a media release Wednesday, Allstate Canada said Halifax reported an annual collision frequency rate of 7.9 per cent per 100 cars.

Of the five Nova Scotia communities included in the study, Bedford reported the lowest collision frequency rate, ranking 31st out of the 93 communities.

The new survey also revealed that despite declining 4.1 per cent from the last Allstate study, Nova Scotia was the province with the highest collision frequency.

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