The Toronto Sun has published yet another saddening article about driving while distracted by a cell phone. It tells the story of a teen in 2009 who lost control of his car and died after reaching for a ringing phone.
This story is familiar. According to the article, “between 2002 and 2011, there was a 39% increase in deaths resulting from inattentive and distracted driving”.
In 2013, inattentive driving (including while using a cell phone) caused 86 deaths in Ontario. That number accounts for one third of all motor vehicle collision deaths in 2013. Notably, it was more than the number of deaths caused by drunk driving.
Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) spokesperson, Teresa Di Felice, contends that distracted driving is the top traffic issue from a safety perspective. As it stands, the Ontario government has tabled new legislation under the The Keeping Ontario’s Roads Safe Act, which if passed could increase the minimum penalty for distracted driving from $225 (not including the victim surcharge or court fee) to at least $300 and as much as $1,000 (not including the victim surcharge and court fee).
What Can You Do to Avoid Being Distracted While Driving?
Cell phones and other distractions while driving are a huge problem. Driving requires your absolute full attention, but too often, people revert to autopilot and become inattentive. It’s crucial to remember that it takes only a moment, less than a second in some cases, for an accident to happen.
Here are some tips to avoid distracted driving; this list is a good starting point, if not exhaustive:
- Familiarize yourself with directions and maps before driving
- Secure loose objects before driving
- Set climate control and music before driving
- Do not answer your phone (if you must make or receive a call, pull over in a safe place to do so)
- Do not text
- Do not access the Internet or your emails
- Do not smoke, eat, drink, or groom
Texting while driving and talking on your cell phone while driving increase your probability of being in a motor vehicle accident by 23 times and 4-5 times, respectively.
Your life is worth more than any text message!
Roger R. Roisy is an experienced Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, please contact us for immediate support and a free consultation. More on motor vehicle collisions from Roger R. Foisy: