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Primary causes of car accidents in Ontario

Many people in Ontario may join those who ask why there are so many crashes despite the technological advancements in vehicle safety. Why is the number of people maimed and killed in car accidents on the province’s roads increasing every year? Could it be that the problem does not lie with faulty or unsafe vehicles but rather with dangerous drivers? Statistics indicate that a significant number of accidents with serious injuries or fatalities involved excessive speed and alcohol. Another concerning issue is the number of crashes that claim the lives of young adults — mostly in urban areas where there are high concentrations of establishments where alcohol can be obtained. Legislation that includes driver suspensions, fines and jail sentences do not seem to deter drunk drivers. Aggressive drivers who speed, tailgate, run red lights and refuse to yield to others are also responsible for many devastating auto accidents. Typical behaviour of these drivers includes the flashing of lights to irritate other drivers, making rude and aggressive gestures, and deliberate blocking in to prevent other drivers from getting away. These situations can even lead to verbal abuse and physical assaults. Victims of aggressive or drunk drivers are often left with crushing consequences that could include catastrophic injuries and the loss of loved ones in car accidents in Ontario. 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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Who’s to blame for self-driving car accidents?

The problem with the future is that it sometimes arrives before anyone is ready for it. The latest example of this phenomenon is unfolding now as car makers around the world scramble to develop autonomous vehicles. Cars that drive themselves will surely necessitate amendments to Ontario traffic laws and the insurance industry. One of the greatest puzzles might be how to assign blame after car accidents involving self-driving cars. Statistics show that human error is the primary cause for 94 percent of automobile accidents. By removing human decisions from driving, that number should drop significantly. Though experts believe accidents will never be completely eliminated, even doing away with just speeding and drunk driving will greatly reduce the risk. Establishing blame in an accident involving a self-driving car may be hard to do. Indications are that the manufacturers might be held liable, or perhaps the software developers. Personal injury claims may begin to focus on the failure or unreliability of the product, rather than driver negligence. Additionally, accident reconstruction may no longer be the jurisdiction of the police, and could rely almost entirely on accessing data stored in on-board computers in the involved vehicles. The day when all cars are self-driving is not here yet, but there are already many semi-autonomous vehicles on the roads of Ontario, with more coming all the time. Car accidents involving cars in self-drive mode could be difficult legal matters to sort out, and victims will likely require skilled lawyers to help them. If you, a friend or a family member are a victim of someone’s negligence, it makes sense to contact a personal injury attorney to learn what steps should be taken to protect one’s legal rights.

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Doorings: the car accidents cyclists fear most

Riding a bicycle is often the fastest and most efficient way to get from place to place in a large downtown hub. Cyclists are a common sight on the streets in the busiest urban centres of Ontario, and there are dedicated lanes to accommodate them in many areas. Riding the roads is still a risky business, however, and bike versus car accidents happen regularly. Among the most dangerous incidents are doorings. For anyone who is not a cyclist, the term ‘dooring’ might not be a familiar one. A dooring occurs when a parked motorist opens his or her vehicle door on the street side and a cyclist crashes into it. The potential for serious injury in these cases is very high. In Toronto, police statistics show there were 209 reported doorings in 2016 — a significant increase from the 132 incidents reported in 2014. Strangely, although a ticket was issued in 53 percent of the 2014 cases, in 2016, that figure dropped to 27 percent. The number of warnings issued also declined from 21 in 2015 to just 5 last year. This is despite an increase in the minimum fine from $60 to $365 plus three demerit points. Dooring is a serious issue for bicyclists in the cities of Ontario. Though they may not grab the headlines as often as other car accidents do, they can be devastating to the unfortunate victims. 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 to know your rights and what steps you should be taking in order to protect your rights for the future.

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