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Highway 17: Navigating Risks and Safer Roads Ahead in Renfrew County

Stretching from Deux-Rivières in the northwest Arnprior in the southeast, Highway 17 is the aorta of Renfrew County.

It’s part of the TransCanada Highway network and passes through, or comes very close to, most municipalities in Renfrew County.  All roads may lead to Rome in Europe, but here in Renfrew County, all roads lead to Highway 17.

For some of us, Highway 17 is part of our daily commute.

Most of us don’t need to travel the Highway daily.  For us that do not travel Highway 17 daily, we still use the highway quite often for trips to Ottawa for medical appointments, shopping, sports events, or day trips.

Highway 17 is also a dangerous highway.  February was another month with several serious collisions on Highway 17.


Serious Collisions


Serious car accidents on Highway 17 aren’t new.  In 2013, CBC News did an analysis of collisions on Highway 17 between Arnprior and Mattawa.  In the period studied, there were 56 fatal collisions.  In 26 of those collisions, a large truck or transport was involved.[1]  Collisions were particularly bad on the stretch of Highway 17 from Arnprior to Petawawa, with 51 fatalities and 61 injured persons in the 38 fatal collisions studied on that stretch of the Highway.[2]

There are also many non-fatal collisions on Highway 17 where victims suffer life-changing injuries.  These collisions were not considered in the CBC’s analysis.


Image of Highway 17 ExpansionPlans to widen


The Province has been gradually widening Highway 17 from two to four lanes, in large part to make it safer.  A new interchange was recently added at the Calabogie Road intersection and the next phase of Highway 17 expansion includes building three more interchanges and widening the highway all the way to Renfrew.[3]

For many in the area, extending the divided highway cannot come fast enough.  We all have our own stories of “near misses” on Highway 17.  Others yet have been personally affected by serious accidents on Highway 17, either because they were a part of one or know someone who was.

Even as the highway is right now, I always relax a little bit when I drive onto the divided highway at Scheel Drive.  I look forward to the day in the (hopefully) near future when the 417 will begin at Renfrew.


How we can help


At Bergeron | Clifford, we’ve represented many victims of accidents on Highway 17 and their families.

If you or a family member have been injured in a serious accident on Highway 17, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.

At Bergeron | Clifford, we are familiar with Highway 17.  With offices in Pembroke, Ottawa, and Carleton Place, we drive it regularly ourselves.

In addition to bringing local knowledge to the table, we’re well-equipped to deal with the issues unique to your case.  Cases arising from serious highway collisions often raise uncommon legal issues.  For example:

  • Serious highway accidents often involve transport trucks. Special rules about which insurance company has to pay for your injuries (called “loss transfer” rules) apply to car accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles.
  • Depending on the location and cause of the accident, the Province, a local municipality, or road maintenance company may also be liable for your injuries. Establishing liability in these cases can be complicated.
  • If multiple people have been seriously injured in the accident, the collective claims may exceed the insurance policy limits and the parties will have to share the limits between each other.

Your lawyer’s thorough understanding of these issues can be used to your advantage when negotiating a settlement or advocating on your behalf.


If you have a case you’d like us to take a closer look at, please call us today.

[1] https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/twinning-of-death-highway-a-slow-work-in-progress-1.2431276

[2] https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/5-trouble-spots-on-ottawa-area-highways-1.2425484

[3] https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1003848/ontario-making-progress-to-widen-highway-17-from-arnprior-to-renfrew





Rob attended law school at Queen’s University and graduated with his Juris Doctor in 2020.  He summered at and completed his articles with Weaver, Simmons LLP, a full-service firm in Northern Ontario.  During his articles Rob had the opportunity to see personal injury files from both the plaintiff side and the defence side.  After articles, Rob practiced injury law and general litigation with Kelly + Kelly Lawyers in Pembroke, until Kelly + Kelly’s civil litigation practice joined Bergeron Clifford in 2023. Know More


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