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Distracted Driving and Motor Vehicle Accidents – What You Need to Know

What is Distracted Driving?

Too often, motor vehicle accidents are the result of distracted driving. You may be engaging in distracted driving activities without even realizing it. Distracted driving puts you and others at risk for a motor vehicle accident. Some common forms of distracted driving include the following:

  • Cell phone use, including talking, texting, checking maps, or choosing a playlist;
  • Eating; and
  • Reading or typing a destination into your Global Positioning System (GPS).

The government of Ontario reports that since 2000, deaths caused by distracted driving have doubled. Their motor vehicle collision data from 2013 shows that a driver who is NOT using a phone is four times less likely to crash then a driver who is using a phone. The government also reports that every half hour one person is injured in a motor vehicle collision that was caused by distracted driving.

Did You Know?

It is against the law in Ontario to hold a phone or other electronic device, such as an e-reader, or digital video disc, while driving. It is however permissible to use a hands-free device or mounted device that is secure to the vehicle.

Novice Drivers (drivers that have a G1, G2, M1 or M2 license) that are convicted of distracted driving will face a 30 day license suspension for a first conviction. A second conviction will result in a 90 day suspension, and a third will result in cancellation of your license and removal from the Graduated Licensing System.

Drivers with A to G licenses that are convicted of distracted driving can face fines up to $1,000.00 and three demerit points.

In addition to being convicted of distracted driving, you may also be changed with careless driving, if you endanger other individuals due to a distraction. If convicted, you may receive 6 demerit point, fines up to $2,000.00, and a jail term of 6 months.

How To Avoid Distracted Driving:

You can do the following to minimize distracted driving:

  • Silence your phone and any phone notifications before leaving your home;
  • Have a passenger answer your phone or respond to a text message if a response is required; and
  • Pull off from the road to a safe area if you must reply to an emergency phone call or text message.

For more information regarding distracted driving, visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/distracted-driving.


Texting isn’t the only Form of Distracted Driving

Texting while driving is considered distracted driving and is against the law. However, it’s not the only form of distracted driving that could get you a hefty fine, or worse, a serious or fatal injury.

In Ontario, it’s also illegal for drivers to talk, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices.

Research shows that drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a collision than drivers who focus on the road. And when drivers take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds, their crash risk doubles.

This chart from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s Website is a good reference for which electronic devices can and can’t be used while driving.

Tips to avoid distraction

There are many simple steps you can take to avoid being distracted while you drive:

  • Use your cell phone only when you’re parked, or have a passenger take the call.
  • Let calls go to voicemail.
  • Turn off your cell phone before you start driving.
  • Identify and preset your vehicle’s climate control, radio and CD player.
  • Plan your route and set your GPS before you leave.
  • When you’re hungry or thirsty, take a break. Don’t eat or drink while you drive.
  • Avoid other distractions like reading maps, grooming activities and tending to children and pets.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Transportation

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, consult a Personal Injury Lawyer right now.

 


Improving Safe Driving: No Texting while Driving App

Hundreds of thousands of people are injured, and thousands killed, by distracted drivers each year. Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. Distracted driving can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash.

There are three main types of distractions:

  • Visual: taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving

Texting while driving is frequently a cause of distracted driving car accidents. Smartphones have made it easy for us to stay connected at all times. But that can pose serious safety risks if someone decides to check his or her text messages, emails, phone calls, or any other mobile applications while driving.

While technology like smartphones, GPS systems and entertainment devices account for most of the distractions drivers face while operating their vehicles today, technology in the form of apps can be useful. In response to distracted driving dangers, cellphone applications have been developed to prevent texting while driving. Smartphone apps that disable texting have been around for a few years, but have gained popularity and sophistication in recent years.

Apps that disable talking or texting when in motion can give parents of teens peace of mind and help those who manage commercial fleets ensure drivers comply with texting laws. These apps have their limitations, however, and do not work on all phones or in all scenarios. While this technology may help parents and commercial truck companies prevent texting while driving, it is not a foolproof solution.

As cell phone use and driving becomes a national problem, the chances of being involved in a car accident with a distracted driver increase. If you or a loved one are injured by the carelessness of another driver, contact Mazin & Associates, PC, Personal Injury Lawyer at (416) 625-2122 for a free consultation.

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Mazin & Associates PC dedicates itself to achieving maximum settlements in serious personal injury and accident cases. Our areas of practice include car accidents, motorcycle injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, slip and falls, wrongful death, product liability, long-term disability and medical malpractice.

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  • Tel: (416) 625-2122
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