Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth offering safety driving tips for icy roads.

Ottawa Accident Lawyer

.I was up bright and early this morning taking our kids to hockey.  I knew it had rained last night but I had no idea when I hit Ottawa streets how slippery they were.  As I pulled into the arena parking lot, my vehicle slid sideways down a hill.  Thankfully it was 6:30 am (yawn) and the lot was empty. I was driving very slowly and paying close attention to the road conditions, yet at that very moment, there was nothing else I could have done.  I was sliding on ice . Be careful out there on Ottawa roads. It is extremely slippery out there today. The Ottawa Police Service have provided excellent safety tips to drivers who encounter freezing rain.

-Clear all ice and snow off your vehicle to avoid any ice and snow dislodging and flying onto other vehicles.

-Allow yourself distance between vehicles. Especially when the roads are icy, you need enough distance to stop. Also it allows time to react if ice and snow is flying off other vehicles.
-Be aware that other vehicles may loose snow and ice on them. Often times, transport trucks have ice and snow on the roof of their trailers.
-Always slow down when the roads are icy.
-Allow yourself more time to arrive safely to your destination.
-Ensure your vehicle is ready for winter. Ensure you have winter tires, proper windshield wipers.

Here are a few more tips I have to offer:

  1. Make sure tries have good grips: Always best to have proper winter tires installed.
  2. Make sure you can see. Make sure blades, windows and headlights are properly functioning and clean.
  3. Run the air-conditioner. This removes condensation and frost from the interior of windows.
  4. Check your lights. Ensure they are clear of snow and working.
  5. Know how to use your brakes. If you find yourself sliding on ice,use your antilock brakes: Stomp, stay and steer. Stomp on the pedal . Stay with the pedal. Steer around the obstacle.
  6. If your car is not equipped with ABS, do not panic. Push the brake pedal hard until the wheels stop rolling, then immediately release the brake enough to allow the wheels to begin turning again. Repeat this sequence rapidly.
  7. Be careful. Look for “black ice. Touch your brakes regularly enough to test for black ice.
  8. Know the tough spots.  Bridges and intersections are common places for ice to form.
  9. Too much steering is bad. In most cases, over steering will always make the situation worse. While it may be instinctive to steer away from the obstacle as hard as you can you may make things worse. If the icy conditions end and the front tires regain grip, your vehicle will go in whatever way the wheels are facing, which could be very dangerous (oncoming traffic , hydro poles or traffic).

All in all, common sense and good driving habits are what will help you the most. Sometimes, despite this accidents will happen as we cannot control everything around us. Please drive safely out there.

 


Avoiding Catastrophic Injury and Accidents: Dangers of drowsy driving. Ottawa Lawyer David Hollingsworth

Ottawa Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth…A startling new survey revealed that nearly a third of drivers  in the last month had driven a vehicle when they were tired and they had difficulty keeping their eyes open. The survey was commissioned by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a not-for-profit organization “dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on the road.” Although 32 % of the survey participants admitted to drowsy driving, 96 % of those same drivers said drowsy driving is unacceptable behaviour. What’s even more frightening is that  41 % admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a study last year that revealed that 1/6 deadly fatal accidents and 1/8 accidents causing serious injury involved a drowsy driver. This clearly indicates a need to educate drivers about the dangers of drowsy driving.  It may seem basic and simple, yet the numbers indicate it is not.

Tips from the AAA  to help tired drivers avoid an accident:

  • Get plenty of sleep (at least 7 hours) the night before a long trip
  • Stop driving when are starting to feel sleepy; someone who is tired could fall asleep at any time – fatigue impacts reaction time, judgment and vision, causing people who are very sleepy to behave in similar ways to those who are drunk
  • Travel at times when you are normally awake, and stay overnight rather than driving straight through
  • Take a break every two hours or every 100 miles
  • Drink a caffeinated beverage. Since it takes about 30 minutes for caffeine to enter the bloodstream, find a safe place to take a 20‐30 minute nap while you’re waiting for the caffeine to take effect if need be
  • Travel with an awake passenger
  • Please, drive safely out there !!

    ———————- The  Ottawa Injury Blog is written regularly by Ontario personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. Since 1999, David has been an Ottawa injury lawyer representing Ottawa accident victims and the families of accident victims who have lost a loved one in an Ontario accident. This 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 www.ottawainjury.ca for more information. If you have a question, feel free to call or email david@ottawainjury.ca  (613) 978-9549

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    Summer Cycling Safety Tips with Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth

    bicycle accideOttawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer, Cycling Accidents Ottawa .We all want to be out on our bicycles cycling around Ottawa.  There is much to see and do and getting out on a bicycle is one of the best ways of seeing our city. Of course, it is part of a healthy lifestyle, but bicycling also helps the environment. It’s important, as a cyclist in Ottawa, to be always be aware of your surroundings. Make sure your are visible and take all necessary safety precautions. As an Ottawa bicycle accident lawyer, I meet regularly with people involved in bicycle accidents who suffer very serious personal injury such as brain injury, head injury and broken bones.

    In 2009, according to Transport Canada,  there were a total of 41 bicycle accident fatalities, and 435 serious personal injuries related to bicycle accidents. The Canada Safety Council recommends for all bicyclists to wear an approved bicycle helmet, which can prevent up to 88 % of brain injuries. Simply put: A bicycle helmet can save your life, so why wouldn’t you wear one? There are many bicycle safety measures you can take to help keep yourself and your children safe:

    1. Always wear a helmet.

    2. Pay attention and avoid distractions.

    3. Obey the laws and road safety rules.  Cyclists have the same rights and duties as other drivers and need to follow the same traffic laws.

    4. Be predictable — ride in a straight line, don’t swerve over sewers or bumps in the road, this will increase your chances of a collision with a vehicle.

    5. Properly signal all turns and check behind you before completing a turn or changing lanes.

    6. Come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights.

    7. Stay visible. Be careful around parked cars and ride where drivers can see you.

    8. Use lights at night and wear bright colored clothing.

    9. Be alert -Try to watch for the next move of drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists.

    10. Watch for debris, potholes, grates or any road obstacles.

    11. Make sure your bicycle is in good working order. Make sure your tires don’t need air, brakes must work, chains should run smoothly, and quick release wheel levers must be closed.

    As a driver, there are many steps you can take to avoid a bicycle accident

    1. Respect cyclists’ right to share the road and responsibilities as motorists.

    2. Obey the speed limits.

    3. Come to a complete stop at  stop signs and red lights.

    4. Do shoulder checks, and always check blind spots for cyclist.

    5. Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and bicycles.

    6. Yield to pedestrians and cyclists in crossways.

    7. If you plan to turn right or pull into a parking space shortly ahead of a bicycle in front of you, do not pass. Allow the cyclist to pass first.

    8. Signal all turns and lane changes well 30 in advance.

    10. Only pass cyclists when it is safe to do so.

    These cycling safety tips may seem basic but serve as a great reminder to us all.  Ottawa is a wonderful city to cycle in, let’s keep it safe ! We all need to focus more on cycling safety.  There are far too many very serious head injuries and other very serious personal injuries in Ottawa each year as the result of an Ottawa bicycle accidents.  As one of the top Ottawa bicycle accident lawyers, I encourage everyone to have a safe and accident free summer.

     


    Ottawa cyclists deserve cycling safety, Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth

    Ottawa bicycle accident lawyer David Hollingsworth,

    Cycling Accidents in Ontario

    Listen up Ottawa. Over 200 Ottawa cyclists took to the streets and they went with a mission:cycling safety deserves our attention. “The message has to be a level of respect and polite sharing of the ,” quoted Eleanor McMahon. Sadly, McMahon lost her husband to a cycling accident 4 years ago. He served and protected as a Ontario police officer, now she is  protecting his legacy through the “share the road” riding event. I couldn’t agree more with Mrs. McMahon. The number of Ottawa cycling accidents each year is terrible and it’s avoidable.  We need change from both cyclists and drivers to ensure a safer cycling culture here in Ottawa.

    This movement has a goal of  ensuring no further lives are lost because of a bicycle accident. 2 weeks ago, a 53-year-old cyclist died on Boyce Street in Ottawa’s west end. The loss was felt by Ottawa’s strong cycling community. It was also not that  long ago that Ottawa was devastated by the bizarre Ottawa cycling accident that injured 5 cyclists.  Cathy Anderson was there and said “It raises a lot of emotions in me because we are still going through rehabilitation,” Thankfully, Cathy was one of 5 cyclists who survived  the tragic bicycle accident in Kanata last July.  Public education and determination are whats needed to ring about change . Change will bring safety.  One of the goals of raising enough money to put together a plan to approach our government. The end goal for cycling safety would be a new law in Ontario that allows for a one-metre rule between a cyclist and a vehicle.

    Common cycling accident injuries

    Ottawa bicycle accident

    Our lawyers travel to you and will ensure you are well taken care of following an Ottawa bicycle accident.

    The following are some common types of collisions that a cyclist may suffer personal injury in:

    • A driver making a direct turn in a cyclist’s lane;
    • A driver entering a street from a driveway, alley or lot and pulls into traffic in front of the cyclist;
    • A driver who doesn’t yield at an intersection;
    • A driver who runs a stop sign or runs red light;
    • A distracted driver;
    • A driver who doesn’t shoulder check or use mirrors;
    • A driver who is under the influence of a substance that can affect judgement and reaction times.

    Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer

    There is very little protection for a cyclist involved in a bicycle accident and bicycle injuries can be very severe, ranging from orthopedic injuries to severe brain injuries and paraplegia. If you have been involved in a bicycle or cycling accident, you may need the help of  an experienced bicycle accident lawyer.  David Hollingsworth is an experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer who can help guide you through the process and make sure you are financially covered in the future. Free consultations www.ottawainjury.ca or call 613 978-9549