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Will cannabis legalization lead to more car accidents?

Residents of Ontario are anxiously awaiting the imminent legalization of marijuana — for different reasons. While cannabis users might be thrilled with the prospect, others are considering the impact it will have on road safety. As it is, too many car accidents result from alcohol-impaired driving, and some wonder how many more crashes will be caused by cannabis-impaired drivers. The Insurance Bureau of Canada recently ordered a survey, which indicated that almost eight in 10 Canadians feared that cannabis impairment would be prevalent among drivers when it becomes legal to use the drug. The poll also revealed that a significant percentage of cannabis users in Canada have driven vehicles after consuming the drug, or were passengers of marijuana-impaired drivers. What is even more concerning is the fact that almost half the pot-using respondents indicated that they had no idea how long to wait after consuming marijuana before it is safe to drive. Many people feel that not enough emphasis is put on the risks of driving while impaired by cannabis. Further concern exists about the fact that efficient drug-screening equipment has not yet been approved by the federal government, which means that there is no basis for determining the level of cannabis-impairment. This also limits the resources of municipalities to enforce laws relating to cannabis-impaired driving. Victims of car accidents in Ontario who believe the at-fault drivers were under the influence of pot might have questions about their legal rights to pursue financial relief. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know the latest laws and local court procedures. He or she can explain the available options and provide the necessary support and guidance throughout any subsequent legal proceedings.

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Prescription drugs side-effects cause many car accidents

Motorists in Ontario will always be at risk of falling victim to impaired drivers. While alcohol and drug impairment are typically associated with this hazard on the roadways, medications can also affect the abilities of drivers to operate their vehicles safely. Statistics Canada says seniors use up to five times more prescription drugs than the average Canadian. Safety authorities say the side-effects of prescription drugs and the interaction between different medications pose a significant risk of causing car accidents. According to the Canadian Medical Association, numerous drugs can affect driving ability. Sleeping pills, tranquilizers and even antihistamines and some other over-the-counter drugs have side effects that are potentially dangerous. Side-effects can include dizziness, drowsiness, memory lapses and confusion as well as difficulty concentrating. It may be a good idea for anyone who is prescribed medication to ask the physician about potential effects it could have on his or her ability to drive. The same applies to over-the-counter drugs, of which the risks can be discussed with the pharmacist. As a further precaution, drivers can read the warning labels and information sheets that come with medicines for any information not provided by the doctor or pharmacist. Victims of car accidents that were caused by drivers who were impaired by medication, alcohol or other drugs might be entitled to pursue financial relief. Proving such impairment could be challenging, and the assistance of an experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer could be invaluable. If legal counsel determines that grounds for a civil lawsuit exist, he or she can provide the necessary support and guidance throughout ensuing legal proceedings to recover economic and noneconomic damages.

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Injuries in motorcycle vs. car accidents could be catastrophic

Whenever automobiles and motorcycles collide in Ontario, the bike riders — and their passengers — typically suffer the most severe injuries. With all the modern features that protect motorists in car accidents, crashes with motorcycles, which offer no protection, often cause severe or fatal injuries to the bikers. However, with the effort of both car and bike operators, catastrophes might be prevented. Motorcycle riders should wear bright or reflective clothing and avoid riding in the blind spots of drivers. Smart bikers use signals to make sure drivers can anticipate their moves, and they do not assume that drivers have seen them without making eye contact. Motorcycle riders and their passengers must wear approved helmets, avoid speeding and riding while impaired. The bike must be approved for carrying passengers. However, motorists also play a part in the safe sharing of the road with motorcycles. Authorities say most car vs. motorcycle accidents occur in intersections due to failure to yield and/or driver distractions. Drivers often misjudge the speed of oncoming motorcycles, and bikes might be closer than they seem. Victims of motorcycle vs. car accidents in Ontario might have questions about their legal rights and the possibility of recovering damages. If the negligence of a motorist caused the crash, the injured victims likely have grounds to pursue financial relief through the civil justice system of the province. With the support and guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer, medical expenses, lost income and other financial losses might be recovered along with pain and suffering and other emotional damages.

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