- August 17, 2016
- by WILL DAVIDSON LLP
No one wants to be in an auto accident; and yet, so many of us neglect to take the proper precautions. The “click it or ticket” campaigns that still come out each spring are an indication that we, for reasons unknown, seem to need more incentive to be safe than saving our own lives. So, perhaps if some light is shed on the top 5 causes of auto accidents, we can all be that much safer, because, “the more you know…” right.
For many, driving isn’t just part of your job, it’s where you handle your daily tasks that are usually reserved for a desk. And even if you’re not working while driving, the demand of daily life doesn’t seem to take a backseat to road safety. Eating your lunch, reapplying makeup, changing your outfit, shaving, reading the newspaper, changing the music; the list of distractions goes on and on. You might think you’re saving time by doing these things, but cutting them out of your daily drive is the real solution. Distracted driving is dangerous driving.
Being on your phone 24/7 may be the new normal, but we should curb that habit. Did you know the minimal amount of time you spend looking at your phone, and not on the road, while texting and driving is 5 seconds? To put it in perspective, driving at 90 km/h, you will drive the length of an entire football field without looking at the road. Again, this is the minimum. According to TextingAndDrivingSafety.com, texting makes a crash 23x more likely; dialing a phone number makes you 2.8x more likely to crash; and, texting while driving causes you to spend about 10% of your driving time outside of your lane. It can also be a risky move to be nose-deep in your phone while walking, as you’re unlikely to see/avoid potential harm.
According to the Allstate Canada Safe Driving Study, most accidents happen on Fridays, (16.9% reported) when everyone is eager to leave work/head out for the weekend and the fewest on Sundays, (only 10.5%) when people are winding down – giving real context to the terms “TGIF” and “Sunday Driver”. Speeding not only endangers the driver and fellow passengers, everyone around you, too. Driving at a high speed means less time to react. With obstacles like debris on the road, poor drivers, potholes, and sudden weather changes driving requires attention and caution in equal measure. You can also get some pretty hefty fines and/or have your vehicle taken away entirely. Give yourself more time to get to your destination and if you’re going to be late, just call ahead of getting on the road.
Driving while impaired is NEVER a good choice. You may already be a firm believer in not drinking/doing drugs and driving, but fatigued driving can be just as problematic. Have you ever driven somewhere, like home from work, and when you arrive you think, I don’t remember half of that drive? Some people call it autopilot, but in reality, your mind lost focus because you were tired. Sometimes we can force ourselves to focus, but fatigue is not to be taken lightly. From falling asleep at the wheel to hallucinating, being extremely tired and/or impaired while driving is dangerous. There are so many other options; take a cab/über/city bus/subway/GO train, have a designated driver, sleep it off first.
That same Allstate Canada Safe Driving Study notes that, not surprisingly, January, December, and February are the months with the most accidents, while May, April, and June have the fewest. But that’s the reality of driving in Canada. However, we can mitigate those numbers by being prepared. Check weather reports before you leave, have seasonally appropriate tires put on your vehicle, drive as per the hazardous conditions, not necessarily the speed limit, make sure your wipers are functioning well, top up washer fluid.
This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but it does include the most common factors when it comes to auto accidents. As for dealing with any factors not listed, if you use caution, be aware of your surroundings, and pay attention to the road and your fellow drivers, you should be fine. If all else fails, just think, “Would this behaviour pass a driving test?” and if not, cut it out.
The personal injury lawyers at Will Davidson LLP have represented residents of Ontario injured in a car accident for decades. Our offices are conveniently located in Toronto, Oakville, Burlington, Lindsay, Midland, Huntsville, Orillia, Whitby, Markham and Bowmanville. Contact a personal injury lawyer today and find out how our lawyers can help you achieve the compensation you deserve.