Do you think the legislation on texting and driving needs to change? Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers want to hear form you.

Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth on texting and driving accidents.

Believe it or not people are still texting and driving despite the fact that we all know the dangers. Statistics don’t lie.

  • Distracted drivers play a part in close to 4 million motor vehicle accidents in North America every year. (CAA Distracted Driving)
  • Cell phones are one of the most common distractions for drivers. Driving and texting  increases your chances by  23 times to be involved in an accident or near accident . (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 2010)
  • Driver distraction is a contributing factor in close to 4 million motor vehicle accidents each year in North America. (CAA Distracted Driving)

In 2012,  83 people were killed on Ontario roads in accidents where distracted driving was a  factor.  Ontario police reported, these statistics surpass drunk driving fatalities. In total, some 16,000 distracted driving charges were laid last year. In a blitz conducted by Ottawa police last year , in just a few  days alone 97 distracted drivers were caught.

Distracted driving has become a real problem.  All provinces in Canada have their own laws regarding cell phone and distracted driving and legislation in place. Cellphones are not the only  problem. GPS, music players, computer tablets, children, eating and make up application are also contributing factors to the high number of distracted driving accidents in Ontario.  In Ontario, drivers receive a $155 fine and do not lose demerit points if caught for distracting driving. Other provinces have steeper fines and you can lose demerit points.  Distracted driving has become such a problem in Ontario that the Ontario Provincial Police now conduct regular blitz throughout the year to try to combat the problem. Some wonder if there were steeper fines and a loss of demerit points if that would deter people from driving while distracted.  What do you think ? Do you think people would be less likely to drive while distracted if the consequences were more severe?

No phone call or email is worth risking your life or the lives of others. We must collectively as a community decide that we will put an end to distracted driving.  I put my phone away and have a handsfree device set up.  I urge everyone to purchase such a device.  If you can’t purchase one, then simply turn your phone off when you get into the car so you aren’t tempted to respond to any incoming calls or messages.

As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer I can attest that there are families all over Ottawa and our area that are suffering tremendously from an accident where someone was texting and driving.  If  this isn’t hitting home for you, give me a call and I can give you some very sad examples of how these accidents happen and how these families are feeling now. Distracted driving is a real problem and we need to solve it.  Please do not text and drive , talk and drive and drive distracted.

 


Ontario Police focusing on distracted driving: It’s not just cell phones !

Ottawa accident and distracted driving

For everyone’s safety, the OPP-Ontario Ontario Provincial Police are about to begin a distracted driving campaign next week. This is not the first distracted driving campaign in the Ottawa area.  Ontario Police often target distracted drivers and you wouldn’t believe the number of infractions that occur in just a one weekend blitz campaign. I support these campaigns fully.  As a Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I read police accident reports daily and the number of Ottawa area accidents caused by distracted driving is astonishing.  What bothers me most, is that these accidents are avoidable. I’m not saying I don’t understand how it happens.   I too have children that suddenly start fighting in the back seat and before I know it, my attention has been diverted from the road to them. It  happens. That is why reminders such as this post are so useful. My goal is to have us all tuck this post in the back of our minds and hopefully the next time a situation arises when we are driving, we will remember.

Ontario Police are not only focusing on distracted drivers, they are also asking drivers to leave any handheld devices out of reach while driving. Yes, put your phone away.  Don’t even have it out. Leave your phone in your purse , or even the back of the car.  If it’s too close, the fear is that you might be tempted to check that text that just came in etc.. We can’t have that ! Ontario Police are also asking that passengers to speak to their drivers if they are driving distracted. While this may be uncomfortable, it is life saving ! This is particularly important if you have teenagers or children in the car.  Please do not set a bad example.

As I mentioned earlier, distracted is not limited to texting or talking on the phone.  Although texting is the most dangerous, there are other obstacles that can divert your attention while driving. The most common are:

eating,

drinking,

watching other drivers,

focussing on kids in the backseat ,

looking in the mirror,

or personal grooming.

Please tuck this information away and hopefully we can all work together to reduce  Ottawa accidents and keep our roads safe. Drive safely and have a great day.

David Hollingsworth has been a top Ottawa Ontario personal injury lawyer for close to 15 years.  David works with an incredible team of highly skilled injury lawyers, Ontario accident benefits specialists and personal injury law clerks .