Regardless of Ontario drivers' compliance with the rules of the road, they will always be vulnerable to the negligence of distracted drivers. Authorities say the number of fatalities in car accidents caused by distracted driving has doubled since 2000 -- based on 2013 collision data. Despite severe penalties, some drivers continue to text, talk on mobile phones, read or program a GPS, check maps and choose playlists. The rushed lives of many cause some drivers to apply makeup or shave while on their morning commutes to work.
Convictions on distracted driving charges can have severe consequences, not to mention the lives that can be lost. Road safety authorities advise drivers to switch their phones to silent mode before driving or switch it off. Some drivers put their phones in a gag, the glove compartment or the backseat. However, once it rings, many cannot resist answering, and reaching for it in those places is even more distracting than talking on the phone.
To stay safe and avoid the temptation to respond, a driver could record a message or use one of the apps that block or respond to calls while they are driving. When calls must be made, or messages checked, drivers should pull off the road where it is safe and do with the phone what has to be done before proceeding with the trip. This applies even to making a 911 call if an emergency arises.
Victims of car accidents caused by distracted drivers likely have grounds to seek recovery of damages. However, proving negligence in court could be challenging. For this reason, many injured motorists or the surviving family members of deceased victims of such accidents in Ontario choose to retain the services of an experienced personal injury and wrongful death lawyer to represent their interests while pursuing the maximum amount of financial relief available.