For the second year, we grade the cities across Ontario based on tickets and collisions of its hometown drivers.
If you’ve got the need for speed or a lead foot, you may get pulled over and receive a ticket. Not only will you pay a fine, but you can expect your auto insurance premium to increase, too. A traffic ticket or at-fault collision can raise your rates for several years, which most drivers have come to expect.
Residents of large urban areas like Toronto, however, report having fewer traffic tickets and at-fault collisions on their driving records on average, which might surprise drivers. While these areas typically have higher population densities, and therefore more claims — a factor that can increase insurance rates — they may have better drivers.
According to InsuranceHotline.com data, Ontario’s worst cities for driving lie outside the Greater Toronto Area. Based on the details provided by drivers who obtained Ontario auto insurance quotes on our site between May 2019 and June 2021, we pinpointed the municipalities with the highest percentage of quotes from drivers who admitted to having tickets, at-fault collisions, or a combination of the two, on their driving record.
We considered any ticket, no matter how minor or major. And these driving infractions and collisions could have occurred in the driver’s hometown or anywhere their vehicles have gone.
We then measured all three categories and assigned each city a grade based on its variance from the Ontario average (the wider the variance, the worse the grade).
The top 10 worst cities in Ontario for driving
The Ontario cities where traffic tickets and collisions may be a little too common:
The municipality of Alliston, part of the Town of New Tecumseth, has surpassed Orangeville for Worst City in Ontario for Driving. Orangeville, the titleholder in 2019, no longer cracks the top 10 list.
The top 10 best cities in Ontario for driving
The drivers in these Ontario cities are head of the class:
Notably, North York remains in the top spot for the second year in a row.
Tickets are trouble
On average, 7.0% of Ontario drivers admitted to having a traffic ticket on their driving record in the last three years in our data. This could include infractions such as speeding, running a red light, or passing a school bus with lights flashing. However, drivers in some cities and towns get pulled over more than the rest — for instance, Alliston drivers reported nearly twice as many tickets as the provincial average.
The top 10 cities with the most ticket-prone drivers (who don’t have a collision on their record as well) are:
|City/town||% of drivers with a ticket (no collisions)|
On a collision course
Overall, 9.6% of Ontario drivers report having an at-fault collision on their driving record in the last 10 years. This is up nearly one percentage point (0.7%) from 8.9% in 2019. Yet, there are areas in the province where the average is more than three percentage points higher.
The top 10 cities with the most collision-prone drivers (who don’t have a ticket on their record as well) are:
|City/town||% of drivers with a collision (no tickets)|
While having a collision or a ticket on your driving record can increase your premium, having both can cause rates to skyrocket. According to our quoter data, just under 3% of Ontario drivers (2.9%) said they have one of each — a ticket and a collision — in their recent driving history.
The top 10 communities these “double trouble” drivers live in are:
|City/town||% of drivers with both a ticket and a collision|
How does a collision or ticket affect your car insurance?
While not all collisions and tickets will impact your car insurance, the ones that do can have consequences for several years. Traffic tickets can stay on your record for three years if convicted of the offence; at-fault collisions can last for up to six years.
How much your premium will increase and for exactly how long will depend on your insurance provider and your insurance history. An insurance company may choose to reduce the surcharge, typically implemented after an at-fault collision, each year that you go without making a claim. However, this is not always the case. For instance, someone with numerous claims may get less leniency than a first-time claimant.
For traffic tickets, a driver may not see an increase for a first-time offence — depending on the severity of the ticket, that is. However, multiple traffic tickets will typically increase your premium by five to 15%.
A clean driving record can help you score a low insurance rate. Other factors can influence the amount you pay, like age, home address, and the vehicle you drive; however, your driving history is indicative of your driving habits — safe or otherwise. Each at-fault collision or traffic ticket can signal risk to your insurance company, increasing the price you pay for auto insurance.
Once your traffic ticket or at-fault collision is no longer taken into consideration by your insurance company, after three and six years, respectively, you should shop around upon renewal. Switching insurance providers can benefit your wallet and reduce your premium.
Compare car insurance quotes at InsuranceHotline.com from 30+ providers.
The collision and ticket data are based on the self-disclosed driving record information of Ontario drivers who got car insurance quotes on InsuranceHotline.com and secured a rate from us. The data spans two years, from May 2019 to June 2021.
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