Car accidents can happen any time, to anyone and for many reasons that include driver error, mechanical defects and roadway hazards. Unfortunately, many car accidents that I see as an Ottawa Ontario personal injury lawyer are sometimes Ontario accidents caused by the use of handheld devices while driving.
Accidents and Talking on the Phone
I understand that it is tempting to talk on cell phones while driving. Despite that fact that Ontario has banned the use of handheld devices while driving, many people are still using them. Even if you are not talking on a handheld device, the simple act of having a conversation while driving is distracting in and of itself – even if held using a hands-free device. Studies show us that as much as 80% of the population admits to carrying on telephone conversations while driving. Those same studies show us that as much as 25% of all car accidents list cell phone usage as a contributing factor. As many as 2600 people die each year as a result of car accidents caused by cell phone use. In additional to those fatal car accidents, another 330,000 suffer personal injuries.
Car Accidents and Texting
The risk of being involved in a serious car accident is even higher when you are texting on a cell phone, iphone or blackberry, not talking. Anything that takes our eyes off the road and causes a distraction can be the precipitating factor in any car accident. While talking on the phone can be distracting, texting clearly takes our eyes off the road. One study showed that for a driver that was sending or receiving a text message, in a six second period, four of those seconds were spent with their eyes off the road. Given the fact that the time frame to recognize and respond to changing road conditions is about two seconds, it is not hard to see why texting can be so dangerous. Distracted driving is by far the most common reason given for car accident causes. Guess what? The use of handheld devices is also the biggest sub-category within distracted driving.
It’s common sense folks, just don’t do it. You can respond to that email when you are in a safe place and your eyes can focus solely on your phone. It’s not worth the risk !
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looks at different vehicles each year and released a study as to which rates roof strength in small SUVs. I feel that this is an important study to keep an eye on. If I were in the market for a new vehicle ( which unfortunately I’m not !) , I would want to know which vehicles hold up best in the event of a car accident. The study to which I am referring to looked specifically at the roofs of cars. As a consumer, I would be thinking about rollover car accidents and how best to protect myself and my passengers.
The study rated as follows:
- Honda Element
- Volkswagen Tiguan
- Subaru Forester
- Jeep Patriot
- Toyota RAV4
- Nissan Rogue
- Suzuki Grand Vitara
- Mitsubishi Outlander
- Chevrolet Equinox/Pontiac Torrent
- Honda CR-V
- Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute/Mercury Mariner
- Kia Sportage/Hundai Tucson
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety statistics indicate that 10,000 people are killed every year in rollover car accidents. Obviously better built roofs do a better job at protecting their passengers , by keeping them in the vehicle . The solid roof also helps to keep the car together on impact.
It makes a lot of sense to me. Drive safely out there !