Distracted Driving Accidents Law in Ontario: What You Need to KnowJanuary 18, 2021
If you’ve been injured in a vehicular accident where the other driver wasn’t paying attention to the road, it’s important to know more about your rights under Canada’s distracted driving accidents law.
The Importance of Distracted Driving Accidents Law in Ontario
Distracted driving accidents are going up every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 80 percent of collisions are caused by some type of distraction while driving.
Here are some more statistics that you may not have realized regarding the severity of distracted driving:
- Human error, such as distracted driving, and conditions cause more than 90 percent of collisions on the road in Canada.
- A person is injured on Ontario roads every 30 minutes because of distracted driving.
- It takes about five seconds to look at your cell phone, which is like driving blind at 90 km/hour for the entire length of a football field.
- You’re eight times more likely to crash when looking at a cell phone than if you’re paying complete attention to the road.
- Looking away from the road, even for just a few seconds, reduces your attention to what’s going on around you by 50 percent.
- It’s estimated that 10 to 25 percent of all fatal crashes are caused by distracted driving.
- Police officers believe that distracted driving is the cause of more accidents than impaired driving.
What’s alarming is that although the majority of drivers know that it’s unsafe and against the law, to text, while driving, almost half of all drivers admit to doing so.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Under Ontario road laws, you can be charged with distracted driving if you look at a cell phone or any handheld entertainment device or program a GPS by hand while driving. Distractions can fall under the following categories:
- Manual – using your hands for something that is unrelated to driving the motor vehicle.
- Visual – looking at something besides the road or necessary driving gauges.
- Cognitive – thinking about or focusing your mental attention on anything other than the road.
As you may have realized, some actions, such as texting while driving, may include multiple categories at the same time.
Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer
Proving that the other driver’s attention was elsewhere instead of on the road can be a difficult task if the person isn’t willing to outright admit his or her mistake. Because there are so many types of distraction, it could be vital to speak with a lawyer regarding how distracted driving accidents law in Ontario allows for compensation of your injuries, including time spent off of work, pain and suffering, and more.
What If the Offense Isn’t Listed Under Ontario’s Distracted Driving Accidents Law?
Although Ontario road laws limit the actions that can be labeled as distracted driving, other activities, such as eating, drinking, grooming, or arguing with a passenger while driving may lead to charges of careless driving or dangerous driving. You’re entitled to compensation in these cases as well, but it’s important that the proper terminology is used. Your lawyer can help you with the details of the case so that you have a better chance of success.
You’re entitled to compensation if you were injured by a distracted driver. An experienced lawyer knows what questions to ask and what to look for in the police reports regarding the accident. It can really make a difference in your recovery and your peace of mind.
What If My Insurance Provider Won’t Pay for My Distracted Driving Claim?
On the other hand, if you caused an accident due to distracted driving, your insurance carrier has to pay the other party and cover the expenses outlined in your policy. Some carriers try to deny these claims, but according to the law, they have to cover your claim. Obtaining a lawyer can help you to get the coverage that you’ve paid for in the event that you caused an accident while driving distracted.
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