Distracted driving tops the list in causes of fatal car accidents in Ontario for 2015.

March 22, 2016, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

We wouldn't allow a dentist to work on us while chatting on their cell phones, or a doctor to operate while on a mobile device, but many of us don't think twice about texting and talking while driving. Given that driving is the most dangerous thing we do by far, and something we do very often in Canada, you would think that we would have more regard for it.

The distressing news that distracted driving has overtaken impaired driving as the leading contributor to fatal car accidents in 2015 is a commentary on many things. It speaks to our self-importance, to our inability to be alone/out of touch even for short periods of time, and our complete disregard for fact based decision making (we know that talking/texting while driving increases risk of car accident by 6x over the risk of impaired driving. It increases your risk of car accident to about 20x that if you weren’t on the phone.

In Ontario the OPP report that there were 69 fatalities due to distracted driving last year, 61 due to excessive speed, 51 due to lack of seatbelts, and 45 due to alcohol/impaired driving. It is illegal to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand held cell phones or other hand held communication /entertainment devices while driving in Ontario. Once glance into other peoples’ cars on the roads and highways will show how many of our fellow drivers don’t think the law applies to them. Studies in Canada show that at any given moment 1 in 20 drivers is using a cell phone while driving. 80% of 16-20 year olds admit to texting while driving.

Here are some interesting facts:

  1. Hands free or hand held the conversation is the distraction. The cognitive act of the talking is what distracts the driver.
  2. Passenger conversation is different than talking on the phone because the passengers have a shared awareness of the road. They can sense when things aren’t going well on the road, and picks up the non-verbal cues to stop talking (distracting the driver).
  3. Texting increases your accident risk >20x.
  4. Practicing does not make you better. Studies show you are just as bad a driver whether you are driving and texting for the first time or the 100th. When distracted the brain will cause you to suffer from inattention blindness in which you simply do not perceive what is in your sight.
  5. Cell phone use and drunk driving impair your driving abilities equally.

 

Posted under Car Accidents, Distracted Drivers, Drunk Driving Accidents, Personal Injury, Spinal Cord Injury

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

The opinions expressed here, while intended to provide useful information, should not be interpreted as legal recommendations or advice.

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