￼Despite Exhaustive Efforts, Distracted Driving Persists in Canada
For most of the last decade, law enforcement officials and other stakeholders across Canada, including personal injury lawyers, have expressed concern about the rise of distracted driving. The practice, they have warned, is just as dangerous as reckless driving, speeding, impaired driving, and other high-risk behind-the-wheel behaviours. And yet despite aggressive enforcement blitzes, new laws, and tireless public awareness campaigns, Canadians seem not to be able to ignore their phones, in-car entertainment systems, and navigation tools while driving.
Last week, CBC News British Columbia reported that distracted driving factors into 76 deaths annually in that province, and that in 2020 it was ‘on par with speeding as the leading contributing factor in traffic fatalities in B.C.’ In 2019, the Traffic Industry Research Foundation confirmed that distracted driving fatalities had surpassed those caused by impaired driving in certain parts of the country.
The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) reports that drivers who drive distracted are eight times more likely to be involved in a crash or near crash compared with non-distracted drivers, and that drivers are up to four times more likely to get in a car accident when talking on the phone.
Despite this readily available data, though, distracted driving persists. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have called distracted driving the number one cause of accidents in Ontario and estimated that 8 in 10 accidents are related to distraction. And while not every case of distraction is caused by a mobile device or in-car entertainment or navigation system, those technologies are major contributing factors; deaths from collisions caused by distracted driving have doubled since the year 2000, according to a March 2021 blog post from ThinkInsure.ca.
“It’s a habit [drivers] get into, that they need to check their phone, that they like to have it in their hands,” said Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) roads safety program manager Mark Milner to the CBC.
How Does This Concern Personal Injury Lawyers
Personal injury lawyers help some of Ontario’s most seriously injured accident victims access compensation for the damages they’ve suffered, which puts them on the front lines of the nationwide fight against distracted driving. Every injury caused by distracted driving is avoidable, meaning every client injured in a distracted driving accident is an Ontarian who didn’t have to suffer.
If you’ve been injured in a traffic accident, contact Will Davidson LLP today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. A member of our team will listen to your story, assess the validity of your claim, and explain the next steps in the legal process.