After an atypical year marked by the pandemic in 2020, the number of accidents recorded in Quebec started to rise again in 2021, without however returning to the pre-pandemic level.

It is above all cyclists and motorcyclists who have borne the brunt of the increase in activity on the roads of La Belle Province, noted the Société de l’assurance automobile in its annual report published on Tuesday.

Thus, during the last year, still marked by the great popularity of teleworking which limits travel, 27,888 people were injured in an accident, certainly higher than in 2020 (24,482 injured), but lower than the more than 35,000 injured who had been identified in 2019 and in previous years.

Despite this limited number of accidents with injuries, 347 road users – a term that includes both motorists and pedestrians – lost their lives following an accident, a number that surpasses the balance sheet of 2020 (339 dead), but also those of 2019 (332 dead) and 2016 (338 dead).

This slight increase in the number of road deaths does not, however, erase the gains made for decades in Quebec. In comparison, the SAAQ deplored the deaths of 2,209 people as a result of accidents in 1973, at a time when the automobile fleet numbered 2.27 million cars, compared to almost 7 million in 2021.

Bicycles and motorcycles

As in 2020, 2021 was a particularly dark year for cyclists and motorcyclists, with 16 and 67 deaths respectively for these two groups of road users.

In pre-pandemic years, the number of cyclists killed had fluctuated between 8 and 10 per year between 2016 and 2019, while the number of motorcycle fatalities was between 45 and 54. By 2020, however, these numbers had jumped to 15 cyclists and 65 motorcyclists killed on the roads.

The number of pedestrian victims of a fatal accident remained lower than in pre-pandemic years, with 52 victims in 2021 compared to 60 to 75 between 2016 and 2019.

“The data made public today corresponds a little more to what we could observe before 2020. However, we are concerned about deaths among vulnerable road users, which is why we must continue our efforts to prevent collisions and tend towards an improvement in the road safety record,” said Denis Marsolais, President and CEO of the SAAQ.