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4C Motor Vehicle Traffic Collisions Injuries

Description | Specific Indicators | Corresponding Mandatory Objectives | Corresponding National Indicators | Data Sources |  Alternative Data Sources | ICD Codes | Analysis Check List | Method of Calculation |  Basic Categories | Indicator Comments | Cross-References to Other Sections | References  

Indicator Currently Under Revision 


  • The rate of injuries resulting from motor vehicle collisions 
Specific Indicators  
  • Rate of minimal, major and fatal injuries
  • Rate of major injuries
  • Rate of fatal injuries

Corresponding Mandatory Objectives

  • None

Corresponding National Indicators

  • None

Data Sources (see Resources: Data Sources)
Numerator: Ministry of Transportation Collision Database
Original source: Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Distributed by: Health Intelligence Units
Suggested citation (see Data Citation Notes):
Ministry of Transportation Collision Database [years], [Name of HIU], Release/Extracted: [date]

Denominator: Population Estimates
Original source: Statistics Canada
Distributed by:
1. Provincial Health Planning Database (PHPDB), Health Planning Branch, Ontario MOHLTC
2. Health Planning System (HELPS), Public Health Branch, Ontario MOHLTC
Suggested citation (see Data Citation Notes):
1. Population Estimates [years]*, Provincial Health Planning Database (PHPDB) Extracted: [date], Health Planning Branch, Ontario MOHLTC
2. Population Estimates [years]*, HELPS (Health Planning System) Release: [date], Public Health Branch, Ontario MOHLTC
* Note: Use the total years of the estimates, including the most recent year, even if not all were used in the analysis. The years used in the analysis should be included in the report itself.

Alternative Data Sources 

Analysis Check List

  • None

Method of Calculation

total number of minimal, major or fatal injuries from MVTC

    x 1,000 

total population in community in which collisions occurred

Basic Categories

  • Sex: male, female
  • Age groups: under 16, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65-74, 75 & over
  • Geographic areas: public health unit, district health council, census division, census sub-division
  • Degree of Injury: 1) Minimal, major and fatal injuries, 2) Major injuries 3) Fatal injuries

Indicator Comments

  • The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) maintains a database on every reportable motor vehicle collision that occurs in Ontario. The data are based on the motor vehicle accident report completed by the investigating police officer or staff at a Collision Reporting Centre.
  • The minimum reportable level for property damage only collision rose from $200 to $400 on January 1, 1978 and rose again to $700 on January 1, 1985. As of January 1, 1998, the minimum reportable level for property damage only collision is $1,000.
  • Under a new section of the Highway Traffic Act [S199(1.1)], when one is in a collision in which there is only property damage (no injury or death, and, among other conditions, no criminal activities such as impaired driving) the involved person(s) may report the collision immediately by proceeding with one’s vehicle to a Collision Reporting Centre. Self-Reporting of a collision was introduced on January 1, 1997.
  • Each record in the MTO collision database represents one reportable motor vehicle collision in Ontario and contains information about the collision such as its location, the number of driver/vehicles involved, and the road characteristics. Linked to each collision record is information about each driver/vehicle involved, such as driver’s age, driver’s condition, and vehicle type. If a collision results in one or more injuries, the collision record also will provide information such as age, gender, and position in the vehicle, of persons involved in the collision.
  • Comparison of collision over time and geography must be done with caution due to the variability of underreporting. It is likely that the number of collisions going unreported increased first in 1997 with the introduction of self-reporting, and again in 1998, when the property damage minimum for reporting increased to $1000. It is also likely that the numbers of collisions involving minimal injuries are underreported since injuries such as whiplash or soft tissue injuries are not apparent at the scene of the collision.
  • There are four categories of injury recorded:
    1. Minor: person did not go to hospital when leaving the scene of the accident. Includes minor abrasions, bruises and complaint of pain.
    2. Minimal: person went to hospital and was treated in the emergency room but not admitted.
    3. Major: person admitted to hospital. Includes person admitted for observation.
    4. Fatal: person killed immediately or within 30 days of the motor vehicle crash.
  • While reporting of minimal, major and fatal injuries should be more stable over time and geography, deaths and injury severity may still be underestimated. Deaths occurring more than 30 days after the crash as a result of injuries suffered will not be recorded on the file. Underestimation can also happen for deaths within 30 days if proper follow-up is not done. Similarly, a person who does not go to hospital when leaving the scene of the crash may go at a later time to the emergency room or to be admitted. A person who goes initially only to the emergency room may return later and be admitted. These details may not be captured on the file.
  • Collision data are provided geographically by place of occurrence. It is hoped that the Ministry of Transportation may be persuaded to include information by residence of driver in future publications since analysis based on place of occurrence can be misleading. Collisions may occur to people who do not live in that area, particularly in areas frequented by tourists and commuters.

Cross-References to Other Sections

  • None


  1. Central East Health Information Partnership (October, 2001) Motor Vehicle Collision Database, Standard Data Files Data Dictionary.


Date of Last Revision: January 7, 2003.

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