At least 16 pedestrians were hit in a series of collisions on Toronto streets Thursday that sent at least one man in his 80s to a trauma centre with life-threatening injuries.
That collision, which happened in Etobicoke, near Kipling Ave. and Annabelle Dr., was the most serious injury of the night, Toronto police Sgt. Brett Moore said. The victim was struck by a car shortly before 8:40 p.m.
Thursday night saw heavy rain and challenging road conditions in the city.
In a separate collision, a passenger died after the taxi she was in struck several other vehicles, including a TTC bus, near Avenue Rd. and Lawrence Ave. shortly after 5 p.m. The victim, a woman believed in her 40s, was rushed to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Pedestrian accidents tend to go up this time of year due to a number of factors, Moore said, particularly early darkness and inclement weather, both of which bring poor visibility for drivers and pedestrians.
“Being seen is critical,” he said. “For drivers, get those headlights on early, and for pedestrians, make sure that you’re seen when crossing the road.”
The evening commute will get even darker next week as clocks go back one hour Sunday night.
November is often one of the worst months for traffic collisions in the city.
From 2007 to the start of this year, 46 pedestrians and cyclists were killed on Toronto streets in the month of November — the highest total for any month over that period, according to police data.
In rainy weather and darkness, pedestrians shouldn’t assume they have been seen, should make eye contact with the driver and always cross at designated intersections, Moore said.
Drivers should also ensure they are paying full attention to the road and avoid distracting conversations with passengers, fiddling with the radio and looking at their phone, he said.
When weather and road conditions are bad, drivers should also stay well under the speed limit, Moore added.
This is basic advice, Moore said, but police “know a lot of these basic safety tips we’re mentioning do lead to safer roads and safer driving behaviour.”
Thirty-three pedestrians and five cyclists have been killed on Toronto streets so far this year, according to figures compiled by the Star.
The most recent fatal collision involving a pedestrian happened on Oct. 18, when a 90-year-old man was hit by a BMW driver while crossing Ossington Ave. on a mobility scooter.
The man died in hospital on Monday.
The combined total of 38 cyclist and pedestrian deaths this year is the highest by this date in any year since 2007, the earliest available data.
The Star’s traffic fatality numbers are higher than the official police count. That’s in part because Toronto police figures don’t include deadly collisions that happen on private property, such as in the parking lots of apartment buildings or malls, or on provincial 400-series highways within Toronto.
Bianca Bharti is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @biancabharti