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Distractions cause more car accidents than speeding, impairment

Ontario Provincial Police launched a campaign against distracted driving over Labour Day weekend. The goal is to create a lasting awareness of the dangers of texting or talking on cell phones while driving. The organization reported alarming statistics revealing that the combined number of collisions caused by speeding and impaired drivers are significantly lower than car accidents resulted from distracted driving. OPP says the complacency of citizens toward the use of mobile devices while driving needs to be changed. Passengers should take a stand about the dangers to which texting drivers expose them, and the same with drivers spotting other vehicle operators using their cell phones. A quick glance to check a text message can result in a devastating crash that could affect the lives of many innocent road users. According to OPP statistics, car accidents in which distracted driving has been determined to have been the cause totalled 6,360 so far this year — up to the end of August. In comparison, 4,700 crashes were caused by speeding, and drivers who were impaired by drugs or alcohol caused 1,158 collisions. The number of fatalities among distracted drivers in Ontario so far this year is 47 — eight more than what was recorded for the same period last year. Authorities say the chances of being involved in car accidents are 23 times higher for drivers who text while driving, compared to attentive drivers. If you, a friend or a family member are victims of someone’s negligence and suffering from injuries and losses, contact us to speak to one of our lawyers. We can inform you of your rights and what steps you should be taking in order to protect your rights for the future.

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Can public transit injury lead to accident benefits claim?

People in Ontario who rely on public transit every day to travel to work and other destinations might have experienced some near misses. These rides are not always fun, and most passengers on buses might at some time have wondered what would happen if they were injured while using public transit. Will they be entitled to file an accident benefits claim? To suffer an injury on a bus, the vehicle need not be involved in an accident. If the bus comes to a sudden stop because the driver was distracted and failed to focus on traffic ahead, passengers can fall and get hurt. Another possible result of an abrupt stop is a passenger’s head smashing into the seat in front or suffering a whiplash injury. Under other circumstances, a bus passenger can be cut by a sharp edge or object on the bus. Another question on the passenger’s mind might be what would be the next step after such an injury. The first thing to do would be to report the injury to the driver so that an ambulance can be called promptly. If the driver refuses to call an ambulance, the injured person can make that call or ask a fellow passenger to do it. The police may also attend if it was a crash. Even if injuries seem minor, having a medical evaluation is safe and might help if a claim follows in the future. If you, a friend or a family member have been hurt on public transit and suffering from injuries and losses as the result of someone’s negligence, contact us to speak to one of our lawyers to know your rights and what steps you should be taking in order to protect your rights for the future. An Ontario lawyer can determine whether there are grounds for a lawsuit or an accident benefits claim. Furthermore, a lawyer can decide who carries liability and who can be sued.

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Car accidents: How will legalizing marijuana affect road safety?

With a large number of commercial vehicles that travel all over the country, authorities in Ontario are considering their options in anticipation of the law that will legalize the use of marijuana in Canada in 2018. Feedback is currently sought from different groups involved in road safety in general. One focus is to prevent car accidents caused by truck drivers who are impaired by marijuana. The president of the Ontario Trucking Association says that although drugs and alcohol are not considered a significant problem among truck drivers now, legalizing pot could change the situation. Both OTA and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) have made it clear that they support a policy of zero-tolerance when it comes to marijuana impairment. The use of any drugs goes against the added responsibility of commercial truck drivers, and industry’s strong road safety commitment. The OTA president notes that it will be up to the authorities to ensure that all the operators of commercial vehicles understand the zero-tolerance policies and are aware of the severe consequences violations will have. The Association and the province will work together to create policies for the testing for marijuana impairment. Guidelines will also be established for employers’ responsibilities to accommodate addicted drivers. Both groups are of the opinion that commercial truckers are less likely to drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol than drivers of passenger vehicles. However, Ontario authorities are also working on preventing marijuana-related car accidents by establishing regulations for noncommercial drivers that are similar to those currently in place for alcohol impairment. Anyone who is seriously injured by someone’s negligence, or has lost a loved one in such a manner, can speak to a personal injury lawyer about their legal rights and the options for legal recourse.

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