Distracted Driving a Factor in 80% of Accidents
Distracted driving, including texting and driving, is now a contributing factor in 80% of the collisions that occur on Canadian roads. Deaths resulting from distracted driving collisions have doubled since 2000.
Last week, the York Regional Police charged 144 drivers with distracted driving, which carries a $490 fine and three demerit points. Police are catching many drivers through a new campaign, “We’re on Board, Are You?” which has police officers riding local transit, using the advantage of height to catch drivers who are using their phones or otherwise distracted while driving.
What is “distracted driving”
Distracted driving includes any activity that takes your focus away from the road and puts yourself or other drivers at risk, including eating, reading a map, applying makeup, adjusting the radio, and using a hand-held device like a phone or tablet. Whether you are driving on a busy highway or stopped at a red light, being distracted while operating a vehicle is dangerous, and can result in a serious accident.
In Ontario, it is illegal to use any hand-held device while driving, or view any screen unrelated to driving or vehicle safety. If a driver is using a hand-held device for hands-free GPS or other communication, it must be securely mounted and not obscure the driver’s visibility.
Safe use of a “hands-free” device while driving
Drivers can use a mounted mobile device for communication via bluetooth or an earpiece, but may only use the device to activate or deactivate the hands-free function. Any calls must be made using voice-activated dialing, and voice-only text messaging is permitted. Scrolling through contacts or using the screen in any way, is not.
Any GPS or media player must be programmed before driving. You cannot adjust a playlist or enter a new destination into Google Maps without safely stopping your vehicle.
Ontario personal injury lawyers for victims of distracted driving accidents
Distracted driving accidents are increasingly common. In addition to being a driving offense that could result in a hefty fine, distracted driving is irresponsible and dangerous. Drivers that cause an accident due to inattention are negligent, and can be sued by any injured party to recover compensation for their damages.
If you are injured in an accident and suspect that the party responsible was texting and driving, or otherwise distracted at the time of the collision, our experienced personal injury team can help you determine whether to bring a claim. We can also guide you through the process of claiming compensation through accident benefits.
Contact us online or call 416-847-3580 to make an appointment.