Unreported and unexplained fatalities are the matters which prevent our society from determining what factors are injuring and killing road users, thus preventing an efficient way of achieving the targets of Vision Zero.

Those who appreciate the importance of reducing injury and death on our roads must understand that hiding the causes will not help in achieving reductions in those injuries and deaths.

An example of the problem is the display on Twitter of the above photo in a York Regional Police posting with a short statement that police are “…investigating a fatal single vehicle crash on Highway 7 and Pine Valley Drive…” in Vaughan. There are a limited number of ways in which occupants should sustain injuries in single vehicle collisions and the patterns of damage on the vehicle should reflect and explain those causes. The attached photo does not provide a clear explanation of what caused the damage resulting in the driver’s death. The concentration of debris in the vicinity of the rest position of the vehicle does not indicate that the vehicle damage was caused while the vehicle was rolling or tumbling to its rest position but rather that some form of impact occurred very near to where the vehicle came to rest. Yet the photo has failed to illuminate what exists in the vicinity of where the vehicle is stopped. While it is still early in the process, neither police nor official media have provided an explanation of what happened here.

The public needs to be more educated about how collisions occur, what evidence should look like in certain reported events, and should not accept reports blindly without questioning what they are fed. There is no logical reason why the causes of injury and death need to be withheld from public understanding as it is to the benefit of all that those causes be known and their effects be mitigated.