Ontario sees rise in accident rates among new drivers following changes to G driving test

Study analyses impact of driving test overhaul implemented in 2022

Ontario sees rise in accident rates among new drivers following changes to G driving test

Motor & Fleet

By Mika Pangilinan

New research has shown a notable increase in accidents among novice drivers following Ontario’s overhaul of its G road test in 2022.

Insurance comparison website MyChoice found that the percentage of novice drivers involved in accidents increased from 9.59% to 10.34% after the test was changed, marking a 7.82% overall increase.

This was drawn from a study of 4,800 Ontario G-licensed drivers with at least one year of driving experience. One group of drivers was licensed in 2022, while the other group of drivers received their license in 2021.

The G road test modifications involved the removal of certain driving components, including emergency stops, three-point turns, parallel parking, and residential area driving. Ontario made the changes to reduce the backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

MyChoice CEO Aren Mirzaian said their findings are a “matter of concern,” adding that the test changes in Ontario may have “inadvertently compromised certain aspects of driving proficiency.”

“While streamlining processes is crucial, especially during a pandemic, our study underscores the necessity of thorough driver training and testing,” Mirzaian said. “A rise in accidents could impact insurance rates as overall claims amounts rise, potentially resulting in higher car insurance costs for Ontarians.”

The MyChoice study follows a formal audit by the office of the Auditor General of Ontario, which criticized the decision to revise the G road test without adequate review.

The audit highlighted a 30% increase in the at-fault collision rate among drivers who passed the shortened test (2.4%) compared to those who completed the full test (1.8%).

However, the Ministry of Transportation said these results are statistically insignificant due to the low number of collisions and asserted that it was too early to draw definitive conclusions.

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