Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth on Ottawa cycling safety.

Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth.. I recently found a great website : Citizens for Safe Cycling . It’s a website dedicated to Ottawa cyclists.  It is filled with all sorts of information that relate to Ottawa bicycle safety, events for Ottawa cyclists and Ottawa cycling news and projects.  One of the articles on the site dealt with cyclists getting “doored”. The following are tips I found on this site for both Ottawa drivers and Ottawa cyclists on avoiding a cycling accident.

Ottawa Cyclists:

One of the safest ways to avoid an accident is to ride your bicycle at least one metre away from other vehicles. That is the best way to prevent getting injured by having a door open in your face. A car door can spring open in a second. If a cyclist is passing by at that very moment, it’s almost impossible avoiding being hit by the door, resulting in you. This type of bicycle accident is far to common in Ottawa and a major cause of downtown cycling accidents. These cycling accidents can be avoided.

Ottawa drivers and Ottawa cycling accidents:

Everyone is responsible on the road.  As a driver, you are responsible for checking for oncoming  traffic. This includes cyclists. They are much smaller than a car and therefore harder to see; however, before opening your car door, you must thoroughly check for any oncoming traffic.  If you fail to do so and it results in an accident, you will be charged under section 165 of the Highway Traffic Act.

Ottawa cyclists and Ottawa cycling accidents:  

The best way to avoid a cycling accident is to remain out of the door zone which about one metre away from a car. Also cyclist should avoid passing on the right if there’s not enough space to pass. Cyclist should always use  extra space in the lane in order to stay away from the cars, even if it means that you hold up traffic or force them to pass you outside of the lane. If you need to move left to do this, remember to always signal and shoulder check first.

It’s practically impossible for cyclists to see ahead of time whether a vehicle door is going  to open. Tinted windows and high headrests make it extremely difficult to see from behind if a car is occupied, and a door could fly open at any given moment.

Cycling is such a great activity and means of transportation around Ottawa.  Let’s all work to gether to reduce the number of Ottawa cycling accidents and deaths related to cycling accidents this spring and summer. Happy and safe cycling Ottawa !

   -Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth

—-The Ottawa Injury Lawyer Blog is written regularly by Ottawa Ontario personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. The Ottawa Injury Lawyer Blog reports on accidents in eastern Ontario, personal injury issues, local Ottawa news and events and various news that relates to Ottawa, accidents and personal injury. Visit for more information.

Youtube link  LinkedIn link Facebook link Twitter link Wordpress link

Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth, avoiding cycling accident in Ottawa Ontario

Alex Hayes Trust Fund-tragic Ottawa bicycle accident, Lawyer David Hollingsworth

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer , Ontario Car Accident Attorney David Hollingsworth …What is going on in Ottawa?  This Ottawa accident is tragic and seems avoidable…My thoughts go out to the family and friends of Alex Hayes..It sounds like Alex was such a nice , good kid…I’m truly sorry for the loss of such a young man, still a boy… 

Greely is reeling in the wake of a hit-and-run incident that killed a 16-year-old grocery store employee on Sept. 9.

Alex Hayes was killed when he was struck by a driver on Bank Street, just south of Mitch Owens Road, as he was biking home from his shift at MacKinnon’s Foodland.

Hayes left the store shortly after 9 p.m. and was hit by a car minutes later.

Police found the driver, Samira Daoud, 40, of Ottawa at approximately 9:30 p.m. Although they couldn’t confirm whether or not she told them about hitting Hayes, police didn’t discover his body until 12:10 p.m. the next morning.

“The rest would be part of the investigation,” Ottawa police Const. J.P. Vincelette said.

An autopsy has been conducted to see if Hayes died on impact, however Vincelette would not comment on the results. 

Daoud is charged with 13 offences, including criminal negligence causing death, impaired driving, failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing death, possessing a stolen car, driving with a suspended license, and breach of probation.

She appeared in court on Sept. 11 and was remanded in custody until Sept. 17.

As the community awaits Daoud’s fate, they continue to mourn the loss of a determined young man.

Bouquets of flowers next to a makeshift memorial continued to grow at the entrance of the store since the Hayes’s death. There is roadside display at the crash site as well.

Blair MacKinnon, the store’s co-owner, hired Hayes six months ago when he was looking for co-op work.

MacKinnon was so impressed with Hayes’s work ethic and attitude that he hired him after his second day on the job.

“If I had three or four of him it would be perfect,” he said. “I’d clone him if I could.

“He’d take you up and down the aisle if you needed anything. He’d help anyone.”

Not only was Hayes the model employee, but he tried to help his family in any way too.

The Ottawa Technical Learning Centre student took a trip to Cuba just before the end of August and, although the trip was cheaper because he went offseason, he paid for his mother, Penny, and one of his brothers to go too.

“He always had a smile on his face,” MacKinnon said. “He never bitched and complained. He once worked three straight weeks, eight hours a day. Never said a word.”

Over 200 people attended the wake on Sept. 17, most were students from Hayes’s school plus others from nearby St. Mark Catholic High School and Osgoode Township High School.

An Alex Hayes Trust Fund was also set up, which raised $20,000 in the first four days.

McKinnon, who knows Penny through her work, presented her wall the donations at the wake.

“She was crying,” he said, “but she said they were tears of joy.”

All employees at Foodland had the word “Alex” written on their work shirts on Sept. 17 in remembrance of their friend, some with a message to support Mothers Against Drunk Driving – a reference to the charge of impaired driving against the accused.

MacKinnon said many customers who’ve come into the store to speak with him about Alex, and the incident itself, feel drinking and driving punishments are too lenient.

MacKinnon largely agreed.

“I could shoot you in the face and get 25 years (in jail) or run you over while drunk and get two,” he said. “What would you rather do?”

While not wanting to comments on the specifics of an incident that’s before the courts, Nepean-Carleton M.P. Pierre Poilievre said the government is doing its best to crack down on impaired drivers.

“Our government is working to give the tools to police officers so they can tackle the problem of drunk driving,” he said. “We continually remind all motorists that drinking and driving do not go together and that there are many other alternative to getting into a vehicle when you’ve had too much to drink.”

MacKinnon said he plans to bring in a counsellor to the store on Sept. 24 to give all his employees a chance to grieve.

“We’re going to shut the doors and give everyone a chance to cry it out,” he said.

And judging by his own feelings, he knows it will be hard.

“We’re going to miss him, there’s no two ways about it,” MacKinnon said with a tear in his eye. “I miss him already.”

 In Ottawa, a 40-year-old woman made a brief court appearance Saturday morning. She was in court after a teen riding a bicycle and sadly was struck and killed by in an Ottawa car accident Thursday. Daoud was dressed in a blue top, had her hair in a bun, and appeared tired. Previous to Saturday’s court appearance, Daoud had already lost her licence for impaired driving. The charges against Samira Mohamed Daoud include criminal negligence causing death, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, drunk driving and possession of a stolen vehicle. In the hit-and-run on south Bank Street, 16-year-old Alex Hayes was hit as he rode his bicycle home from a shift at MacKinnon’s Foodland in Greely. Police got a call from family members late Thursday reporting Hayes missing. Officers found Hayes’ bike on the side of the road in the 5700 block of Bank Street at 12:10 a.m. Friday. His dead body was found nearby. Ottawa Police have not said whether Hayes was wearing a helmet or whether his bike was equipped with lights and reflectors.

Earlier Thursday evening, not far from the Foodland grocery store, Christa Charron says a woman erratically driving a truck with Alberta licence plates forced her to move into another lane. The woman was driving north on Bank Street toward Mitch Owens Road. Charron tried to follow the speeding truck, but couldn’t keep up. Cars pulled to the side of the road to avoid being hit by the erratic driver, she said. Charron later spotted the woman again on Leitrim Road, where she turned south into the northbound lane on Bank Street. When the driver was arrested, Charron says she saw a half empty two-litre bottle of wine between the two front seats. Charron said she also noticed that one of the headlights of the truck, which was working when she first saw the vehicle in her rear view mirror, was burned out and the side of the truck was damaged. “It just seemed so obvious. I put two and two together,” Charron said. “I wish I could have stopped it. I tried. I wanted to stop her from killing someone because she was driving so fast.” Charron was still visibly upset on Friday afternoon as she recounted the events that unfolded the night before .“This drinking and driving happens so easy,” she said, holding back tears. “People shouldn’t do it. It’s terrible, you know? It’s not right.”

Several employees at the grocery store were distraught on Friday after learning that Hayes had been killed. Some called in sick because they were too upset to work. “I was in shock this morning when I heard it was him,” said Blair MacKinnon, the grocery store’s owner. “I couldn’t believe it actually.” MacKinnon said Hayes was familiar with the route he took home, almost always riding his bike to and from work. His mother, a part-time employee at the LCBO attached to the grocery store, drove him to work when it rained or snowed. Carrie Longlade, the grocery store’s night shift supervisor, received a call from Hayes’ father looking for his son several hours after he was scheduled to finish work Thursday night. Longlade said Hayes had left around 9 p.m., just as she arrived at work. “He said, ‘I gue
ss I have some more phone calls to make,’” Longlade said. “(He was) concerned, worried.” MacKinnon said the young man worked stocking shelves and helping customers. Hayes was described as a reliable worker, took shifts from people who wanted time off and often agreed to come in when he wasn’t scheduled to work. A photo of Hayes from a recent family trip to Cuba with the words “Please support MADD” written underneath was posted on the front door of the grocery store Friday.

The scene at the Ottawa Technical Learning Centre, where Hayes was a student, was just as sombre. On Friday, students came out of the school at lunch time in tears. Several consoled each other as they smoked cigarettes on the sidewalk in front of the school. Hayes had a girlfriend who came to school Friday morning. She wasn’t able to make it through the day and went home.  Hayes always had a smile on his face no matter how difficult his life became. “I will tell you that I will miss him a lot,” the family member said. “He was a great kid. He was always willing to help. And was a very hard worker, too.”The family member said Hayes was very helpful. He did gardening and installed patio stones when he could have been hanging out with friend. The woman’s eldest daughter has been hit hard by the news of her cousin’s death. The daughter often hung out with her cousin and will fondly remember a trip they took together to the Maritimes and their grandfather’s cottage.

Source: The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth has been helping Ottawa and Ontario accident victims since 1999. With his extensive experience and knowledge of relevant accident and personal injury issues, he has recovered millions of dollars in settlements  on behalf of his personal injury clients. David has the experience and skill to obtain maximum compensation for his personal injury clients. David offers free consultations and makes  home visits or hospital visits. Visit for more information. David understands, he cares and he is here to help.

mobile   (613) 978-9549      (613) 237-4922 ext.203

 Facebook linkTwitter linkBlog linkYoutube link LinkedIn link





Ottawa motorcycle attorney reports rise in Motorcycle accidents results in increase in head injuries, accident deaths,

As an Ottawa lawyer, I seem to be getting calls almost daily about bicycle accidents and motorcycle accidents victims needing an Ottawa lawyer.  It seems like there are more and more each day.  Are there more people on motorcycles and bicylces?  I recently came across this on a related law blog and thought I’d share it with you…

Consumer Reports recently posted an article about the rise in motorcycle fatalities and also about the fact that supersport motorcycles have been found to be the most dangerous type of motorcycle. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycle deaths have doubled in the past 10 years reaching 4,810. And although these deaths have been on the rise, car accident deaths have been steadily decreasing.

According to the IIHS the supersport bike riders’ deathrate is four times higher than other bike riders. These bikes made up less than 10 percent of registered motorcycles in 2005 but accounted for over 25 percent of rider deaths. The fatality rates for cruiser and standard riders was 5.7 deaths per 10,000 registered motorcycles. Touring bikes, such as the Harley example, averaged 6.5 deaths, with sport having 10.7 deaths per 10,000.

According to the study, speeding and driver error were bigger factors in the fatalities involving supersport bikes in comparison the other types of motorcycles. Alcohol was also a factor in 19% of the supersport fatalities, however it was an even bigger factor in the touring, standard and cruiser motorcycles.

Although there are more people riding motorcycles, there are fewer people deciding to wear a helmet while riding. The most effective way found to reduce head injuries is to wear a helmet that meets all of the federal safety standards. Of the motorcycle fatalities in 2005, 700 of those lives could have been saved if they were wearing a helmet.

It’s hard to believe these numbers are so high, but they are.  Please, if you are out there on a motorcycle or bicycle doeverything you can tpo make yourself safe and ALWAYS wear a safely  —

Avoiding accidents and injuries in Ottawa: Bicycle safety information.

Here in Ottawa, we are finally starting to see some sun this summer.  Ive had my children out on their bicycles quite a bit this week and thought I’d pass along some bicycle safety tips.  It doesn’t hurt to be reminded.. Enjoy the rest of this summer and be safe out there on the roads.  Do whatever you can to avoid accidents.  Sometimes, it’s the smallest things that make a difference.  Have fun !                                           -David

Protect your head: Wear a helmet

To reduce injuries, all  riders of all ages are encouraged  to use helmets. Children up to the age of 16 are required by law to wear a helmet. Studies have shown that using a bicycle helmet can reduce head injuries by up to 85%. Even if you just ride on bike paths or for a short distance, be sure to put on your helmet before you go. You don’t have to be going fast or far to risk serious head injuries.

Buy a helmet that bears a label saying it meets the Canadian Standards Association standard ; or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard; the Snell Memorial Foundation standard; the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard.

In order for a helmet to work properly, it must fit properly. Here is how to properly fit a helmet:

  • A helmet should fit snugly on the top of the head and not obstruct your field of vision. Do not buy a helmet that you want your child to grow into, it must fit properly every time they use it. Most helmets come with adjustable padding to achieve the best fit. The front of the helmet should be about two finger widths above the eyebrows.
  • The “V” part of the chin straps should fit snugly with the “V” coming together right below the earlobe.
  • You should be able to fit one finger between the chin strap and under the chin. Always wear the helmet with the chin strap firmly buckled. Make sure the chin strap fits securely and that the buckle stays fastened to provide impact protection. No combination of twisting or pulling should remove the helmet from the head or loosen the buckle on the strap.
  • The best way to test your helmet is to shake your head forward and back. The helmet should stay in place. Try another helmet size or design if simple hand pressure shifts the helmet significantly on your head.

Do not use a helmet after it has been involved in an accident. Damage to the helmet may not be visible to an untrained eye. Even very small cracks in the helmet may greatly reduce a helmet’s effectiveness in preventing injury. Either destroy the helmet and get a new one or have it inspected by the manufacturer. The manufacturer will tell you if the helmet needs to be replaced.

Children must wear a bicycle helmet at all times while riding a bicycle. Try these tips to get your child to always wear a helmet:

  • Let your child help pick out the helmet. Help your child practise putting on the helmet until he or she can buckle the straps easily.
  • Always insist your child wear the helmet. Make it a rule: no helmet, no ride. Anyone can get hurt anywhere at any time.
  • When you ride together, wear your own helmet. Your own good example can make a big difference in encouraging your child to wear one.
  • Praise your child each time he/she wears it. Begin the helmet habit with the first tricycle or bicycle. Then it will become a habit as your child grows.
  • Encourage other parents to buy helmets for their children. Making helmets common is the best way to decrease the feeling of being “different”.

Helmets today come in many colours and designs. Find one you like so you will wear it.

Today’s bicycle helmets only weigh about a half a pound and some helmets cost as little as $20. Helmets have lots of openings for air to pass through and they are not any hotter than having your head exposed to the sun while riding. Finally, with a helmet you will be more visible, and car drivers will probably respect you more and give you more room on the road because of it.

If you or a loved oned has been injured in a bicycle accident or any other type of accident,you may need help and be entitled to accident benefits you are not receiving.  David Hollingsworth is an Ottawa Lawyer who specializes in personal injury law in Ottawa and surrounding areas.  Feel free to give him a call at 613 978-9549  or email  You can also visit his website at

Ottawa accident lawyer shares statistics on accidents..

Ottawa Car Accident

As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I can honestly say these statistics are alarming . More than 1 million vehicles in Canada are involved in accidents each year.

Here are a few accident statistics from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s Road Safety Annual Report 2004:

  • Ontario had a population of 12,407,300, of which 8,655,597 were licensed drivers.
  • 421,870 drivers were involved in a collision (316,856 property damage only, 93,207 personal injury, 1,208 fatal collisions)
  • 136,402 people (not just drivers) were involved in personal injury collisions.
  • 799 died (433 drivers, 191 passengers, 104 pedestrians, 19 bicyclists, 47 motorcycle drivers/passengers).
  • 3,565 received major injury (admitted to hospital).
  • 29,918 received minor injury (went to hospital, treated in emergency room, but not admitted).
  • 39,525 received minimal injury (did not go to hospital when leaving the scene of the collision; includes minor abrasions, bruises, complaint of pain).
  • 4,505 pedestrians were injured and 104 were killed due to auto accident.
  • Lowest risk of accident: males and females 16 years old (at this age, individuals have a G1 license that allows them to drive only with an experience driver, often a parent).
  • Highest risk of accident: males 17 years old (6.01% had accidents) and females 18 years old (7.29% had accidents). It seems that, by this age, they are driving on their own. On their own with little experience.
  • The percentage of drivers who have a collision, based on age, generally drops lower each year after this for both females and males.
  • The good news in this report is that 2004 had the lowest number of fatalities ever recorded in the province. Ontario also had the lowest number of accidents per capita of any jurisdiction in North America.

Every driver, pedestrian and cyclists needs to do their part in reducing the number of car accidents and injuries related to car accidents each year.  The statistics don’t lie and there is a lot we can do to lower the number of accidents on our roads each year.  Let’s do it.

Avoiding Bicycle Accidents..Common Questions-Answered

Do I have to wear a bicycle helmet while riding on the road?

If you are under the age of 18 you are required by law to wear an approved bicycle helmet when travelling on any public road. For safety , cyclists over 18 are encouraged to also wear helmets , but this is not required by law.

Why was the bicycle helmet law introduced?

Research shows that bicycle helmets can be extremely effective in preventing serious head injury.  Most cycling fatalities involve head injuries. Thankfully, the Ontario government is committed to promoting cycling safety.

What is the fine for not wearing a helmet?

The fine is $60. With court costs of $5 and the victim fine surcharge of $10, the total is $75 for a plea of guilty.

How do I know which helmet to buy?

Consumers should look for a helmet that fits comfortably and meets safety standards. Check the inside of the helmet for stickers from one or more of the following organizations:

  • Canadian Standard Association:
  • Snell Memorial Foundation: Snell B90, Snell B90S, or Snell N94
  • American National Standard Institute:
  • American Society For Testing and Materials:
  • British Standards Institute:
  • Standards Association of Australia:

Do I have to wear a bicycle helmet while riding a power-assisted bicycle (also known as an electric bicycle or e-bike)?

Anyone operating an electric bicycle must wear an approved bicycle helmet at all times.

Power-assisted bicycle can travel on Ontario roads as a bicycle. Electric bicycles will be treated as bicycles and must follow the same rules of the road set out in the Highway Traffic Act. E-cyclists need to remember there are two exceptions:

  • operators must be 16 years of age and older, and
  • all operators must wear an approved bicycle helmet at all times.

For more information visit David Hollingsworth – Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer’s website at