Accidents in Ontario on the rise
In a recent article written for the Advocate Daily, we commented on a report indicating a five-year high for fatalities for accidents in Ontario on OPP patrolled roads and waterways. We said that we were not surprised there were more accidents in Ontario given the growing number of vehicles on the road each year. That, combined with the increased use of electronics and hand-held devices in vehicles has created deadly distractions for drivers today.
Accidents in Ontario statistics
The report, produced by the OPP, highlighted some startling statistics from our roadways.
· 343 people died in collisions in 2017 compared to 307 in 2016, with the increase coming from driver inattention, speed and not wearing seatbelts
· 91 people died in collisions that involved a commercial transport truck in 2017
· 48 motorcyclists died in 2017
Driver Error is a Key Factor in Accidents in Ontario
A further look into the causes of these accidents show that driver error is a key factor. In addition to being distracted, drivers are failing to come to a complete stop and intersections, misjudging the speed of oncoming traffic when stopping or merging and they are driving recklessly.
Sometimes things are beyond the driver’s control such as road disrepair and weather conditions. And sometimes the condition of the vehicle can contribute to the accident. Faulty brakes, broken signal lights windows or mirrors all increase the likelihood of an accident. It is always the responsibility of the driver to ensure that the vehicle is in good repair, that it is serviced regularly and that does not have an outstanding recall.
To prevent another increase in our provincial accident statistics, there are a few things that you can do to keep our roadways safe.
Adopt a Three Second Rule
Experts suggest that you leave a three second gap between your vehicle and the one in front of you. To do this, pick a stationary landmark such as a tree or sign. When the car ahead of you is about to pass that landmark, start counting. If the car passes the landmark before you reach three, you need to slow down. You are following too closely. Reducing your speed will allow you enough space to slow down or stop quickly to avoid a hazard.
Use Your Full Attention When Driving
Operating a vehicle, of any kind, requires your full attention. If you need to read a map, eat, check on kids in the back or make a call, pull over when it’s safe.
Driving impaired or stoned can severely diminish your reaction time and your ability to notice hazards on the road. The same is true for driving tired. Avoid drugs and alcohol when driving and get enough rest.
In light of these recent reports, please drive carefully to protect you and your family. If you have been involved in a car accident in Ontario, you likely qualify for accident benefits to help you as you recover. If you have been involved in a car accident and have question about how to deal with insurance claims and benefits, please contact for a free consultation.