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We will travel to your home, hospital, or rehabilitation centre throughout eastern Ontario.
It’s never a good time for a personal injury
Summertime is peak time for personal injuries in Canada with more than 30 per cent of all injuries occurring in the warmer months. * Half of those injuries happen between noon and 6:00 p.m. and the main cause of summer injuries comes from people falling, including falls into water (Statistics Canada). The best way to avoid any accident is attention and prevention.
Prevent a personal injury
In Ottawa, 55 per cent of cyclists report that they don’t always wear a helmet when they ride a bike. * On the water, up to 85 per cent of boating-related deaths could have been prevented by the wearing of a life-jacket or Personal Floatation Device.** It’s not hard to understand why we resist suiting up with protective equipment during the warmer months. Helmets, body gear and life jackets are not terribly comfortable to wear in the heat, but, as we know, they are our best defense against personal injury. No matter the sport, statics prove that helmets and life jackets save lives.
Pay attention and avoid personal injury
Canadian summers drive us to the cottages, lakes and pools to for swimming, boating and so many other water activities. On average, 525 people die each year in water-related incidents with children between the ages of 1 – 4 and young men aged 15 – 34 at the highest risk. ** Many of these accidents could have been prevented. Summer is a welcome time for recreation and get togethers with family and friends. Keeping tabs on small children and toddlers is crucial when they are around water of any kind, from a small backyard kiddie pool to a lake. Accidents happen fast and the best way to keep kids safe it to keep them close. It’s always a good idea for parents of small children to have water safety and first aid training.
While 15 – 34 year olds are mostly responsible for their own safety, 38 per cent of water related fatalities in people over 15 involved alcohol use. Clearly the two do not mix and caution should be taken to ensure that those who are drinking alcohol are in control of their actions and their surroundings.
The best way to prevent injury during the summer months is to always remain aware of the surroundings and to be keep a close eye on the people around you. Insist on use of life saving devices and protective gear all summer long to stay safe and accident free.
* Statistics Canada Community Health Survey
** Canadian Red Cross
Concussion Head Injury
Concussion and traumatic brain injuries affect the way that the brain functions and can lead to long-term impairment. This is especially true for children. As we head into the summer season, kids will start playing of soccer and baseball and will be eager to ride their bikes, scooters and skateboard. With kids on the move, it is important to know the signs of a concussion and how to treat it. A concussion is caused when a child gets a bump, blow or jolt to the head.
Recognize a concussion
Concussions can also be caused by a hit to the body, that causes the head to move back and forth quickly. These sudden, sharp movements can cause the brain to jar or twist in the skull creating chemical changes in the brain and damages to the brain cells, affecting the way they think and remember. The best defense against a head injury or brain injury is to ensure that children always wear the right equipment. Not surprisingly, many concussions happen when the child is not playing team sports in a formal way, but is just playing at home or with friends without their helmets or protective gear. They may be just taking their bike around the block and not feel a need to put on a helmet for a short ride. These are the times that kids must be reminded to always wear a helmet for safety.
Symptoms of a concussion
If your child does suffer a bump to the head, make sure you know that symptoms. A person does not need to be knocked out or to lose consciousness to have a concussion. A child suffering a concussion could seem confused, have a slow reaction time and have difficulty concentrating. Look for headaches, nausea, dizziness and changes in sight. Should you see any of these signs, have your child stop playing right away and don’t leave him alone. Take him to the hospital right away or call 911.
Every year at this time, as the weather gets warmer, we hear more and more about accidents and insurance claims involving an ATV accident or All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and off-road vehicles. A day out enjoying nature is always fun. Operating a motor vehicle without the proper insurance and equipment may lead to serious injuries, broken bones and sometimes worse.
Last year, more than half of all -road vehicle accidents in Ontario were cause by drug and alcohol impairment. Accidents are worse when riders who were injured when they were not wearing a helmet. Of the 22 riders who died in ATV accidents last year, nine were not wearing a helmet. (Ontario Provincial Police). On-road or off-road, there are laws and regulations in place to keep riders, their passengers and other trail users out of harm’s way.
What you can do to help avoid an ATV accident …
· Riders must wear an approved motorcycle helmet
· Riders must have at least a valid G2 or M2 driver’s licence to operate on-road and must have a valid driver’s licence (i.e. minimum G1) to directly cross a road.
· All ATVs must also be insured when operated off of the vehicle owner’s private property
· ATVs operating on-road must have the same insurance as a passenger car.
· It is against the law to drive an off-road vehicle when impaired by alcohol or drugs.
· If the ATV is permitted on-road, riders must operate on the shoulder of the road in the same direction as traffic. If the shoulder is unsafe or impassable or not wide enough, an ATV can be driven on the travelled portion of the road.
When it comes to insurance and ATVs, riders are often unclear of the rules. An ATV is considered a motorized vehicle. Insurance laws and compensation are available to ATV riders in the same way they are to other motorized vehicles. For that reason, all off-road vehicles must be insured by a valid insurance policy. Like a motor vehicle, purchasing insurance and opting for additional insurance
coverage is always a good idea. In the event of an accident, you and your family will be much better covered and cared for. In most cases a separate insurance policy is not even required and your off-road vehicle can be added to your existing car insurance policy. Ontario accident benefits can be accessed to cover you for things such as medical rehabilitation, home care, caregiving, income replacement and house keeping among other things.
If you or a loved one are injured in an ATV accident and are unclear as to your entitlement for compensation and coverage, call my office at (613) 978-9549.
May is Motorcycle Accident Safety Awareness Month
As the weather gets warmer, more and more motorcycles will be on the road. Whether you are on two wheels or four, it’s everybody’s responsibility to drive safely and provide a safe environment for all road users.
• Look for motorcycles, especially when checking traffic at an intersection.
• Motorcycles are smaller than most cars and trucks so they may look farther away than they are. For that reason, it may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into a driveway, always assume a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
• Motorcycles can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots. Take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic, whether you’re changing lanes or turning at intersections.
• Motorcyclists often slow down by downshifting so you may not always see a brake light. Always keep a safe distance away. At intersections, motorcyclists sometimes slow down without warning.
• Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling. Some riders may forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change.
• Motorcyclists often move within a lane to be seen more easily or to avoid road debris, passing vehicles and wind.
• While bikes are much easier to maneuver than a car or truck, don’t always expect that motorcyclists will be able to get out of the way in an emergency situation.
• When a motorcycle is in motion, don’t think of it as a motorcycle; think of it as a person.
Motorcycles are considered motor vehicles and follow the same rules as trucks and cars when it comes to accidents and insurance claims. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s important you get informed.
Keep motorcycle riders safe on the road during motorcycle safety and all year around. Please share the road.