We have all heard and read the distributing statistics on the dangers of distracted driving and our Ottawa injury lawyers want to remind you of some of the most common causes of distracted driving. Last month, the Ontario Provincial Police reported that distracted driving is now responsible for twice as many deaths as impaired driving. This year, they have investigated 38 on-road death accidents involving distracted driving – almost twice as many as those caused by impaired drivers, making distracted driving accidents the number one killer on our roads. Since 2009, it has been blamed for more than 600 accidents resulting in deaths on OPP-patrolled roads.
Accidents and Distracted Driving
There are several ways a person can be considered distracted while driving. Drivers are distracted when they have their eyes off the road, mind off the road, or hands off the steering wheel. Using a cell phone, especially to send a text message, does all three of these at once which is one of the reasons why it is so dangerous. All 10 provinces have adopted laws to stop texting while driving, with fines ranging from $80 to $1,200 and five demerit points (*CAA). Think you won’t get caught because you have your phone in your lap? Gatineau police officers are now riding buses this month as part of a road safety blitz targeting drivers who are texting or on social media.
Social Media and Accidents
Social media use on smartphones has also become a serious concern with apps like Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat. While these are obviously extremely dangerous distractions, others are less obvious. Texting, eating or drinking, grooming, using a GPS and adjusting the radio are now all considered forms of distracted driving. We all have a responsibility to keep ourselves, our passengers and other drivers safe on the road. Be aware of distracted driving, don’t be a passenger in a car where the driver is distracted and don’t be tempted to take your mind off the road, your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road.
Drive safely Ottawa !