When a collision occurs what assurance do we have that its cause has been properly identified and reported? That is a question of concern when so many vehicles travelling on our roads are likely to be defective yet no mention of that is made in official statistics.

A Canadian Press article has reported Transport Canada analysis showing every fifth vehicle on the road has an unresolved safety defect. The article recognized that the 6.6 million defective vehicles potentially endanger “occupants and other road users”. But when was the last time you were told that a certain vehicle, or collision scenario, was caused, or influenced by a vehicle defect? Does that not sound contradictory?

Gorski Consulting keeps some level of focus on collisions that are being reported to the public by police and news media. Our assessment shows that the reporting of a vehicle defect being a cause or influence in a collision is extremely rare. Vehicle detects may be causes or influences of collision consequences but they are not being reported as such.

However it is not just officially acknowledged vehicle defects that are the issue. How many other vehicles are on the road with some form of maintenance problem or repair problem that might also be a cause or influence on the outcome of a collision? Such information is never given to the public.

Truthfully accurate reporting of how and why collisions occur must be a cornerstone to our society’s efforts to reduce the number and severity of those collisions. That reporting cannot be left to an unknown number of persons who may have special interests in inflating or hiding collision causes. There has to be some form a accountability with checks and balances to ensure that those causes are properly and accurately reported. This must include some form of open data that allows the public to examine and question whatever statistics are being reported to them.