The primary responsibility of a personal injury lawyer is to advocate on behalf of those individuals that have been injured in an accident caused by another party. Many of these cases are attributed to the careless, negligent, or reckless behavior of someone else and the injury victim or plaintiff is oftentimes entitled to compensation. Many of these injuries, especially those resulting from motor vehicle accidents, are oftentimes life-altering and the individual may be permanently disabled as a result.
Consequently, many personal injury lawyers in the Greater Toronto Area feel that more needs to be done in order to prevent needless injuries and fatalities. Fortunately, the Provincial Government recently passed Bill 31 or the “Making Ontario Roads Safer Act.” A portion of the bill targets distracted driving and has increased fines from $200 to $490 as a result. Furthermore, the guilty driver will receive up to three demerit points if they are convicted of distracted driving. This is a serious offence and accidents can turn deadly in minutes.
Where driver distraction is concerned, statistics have clearly revealed that a significant percentage of motor vehicle accidents are attributed to the 3 types of driver distractions that are listed below:
Cell phone/smartphone usage – while certain mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets have an important role in our day-to-day lives, they are one of the 3 most common distractions that lead to motor vehicle accidents. Even though hands-free devices are available, they still come with certain risks attached. The key is to finish any important conversation you may be having before you start driving. Better yet, set your phone on silent or turn it off when you get into your vehicle.
Drinking and eating or grooming – think of all the times you’ve been driving to work and you notice that the driver in the lane next to you is either drinking their coffee with a croissant breakfast sandwich. Maybe you’ve seen a woman doing her make-up as she is driving. Granted, these are all important. However, it’s best to do this at home before leaving. Stop taking risks. Set your alarm clock 15 to 20 minutes earlier so you can do these things before getting on the road.
Kids in the car – parents can truly appreciate this one considering there is a separate set of distractions for each child that rides in the vehicle with them. From riding with a crying infant or toddler to responding to a barrage of: “Are we there yet’s?”, “He (or she) hit me’s!”, “I need to use the bathroom’s.”, “I’m hungry’s.”, “I’m gonna be sick’s.”, and on and on and on. If you reach in the bag next to you or your purse to quiet them with a snack or reach around to quell the fight in the back seat, you put everyone at risk.