Sokoloff Lawyers: Personal Injury Lawyers
for Brampton Injury Victims
SOKOLOFF LAWYERS: PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS FOR BRAMPTON
According to the most recent Allstate Safe Driving Study, Brampton is one of the most dangerous cities in Canada to drive in. Brampton consistently makes the top ten list in this report, which surveys 93 cities in four provinces. With a collision rate of more than 7% per one hundred cars, Bramptonians are at greater risk than most Canadian drivers. In 2018, the Region of Peel launched a five-year “Vision Zero Road Safety Strategic Plan” plan that has the vision of zero fatalities and injury collisions. Two of the major contributing factors to collisions in the city have been identified as aggressive driving and distracted driving.
WHAT IS AGGRESSIVE DRIVING?
Aggressive driving involves a number of behaviours, including following too closely (“tailgating”), disobeying traffic controls, failing to yield the right of way, cutting drivers off, weaving through traffic, leaving high beam headlights on or flashing them at oncoming vehicles, erratic braking, sudden acceleration, gesturing or shouting at other drivers, excessive honking, or speeding. These are driver behaviour issues, and it can be a challenge to change behaviour. Educating drivers about aggressive driving is one tactic that can be very effective; so placing emphasis on the negative aspects of aggressive driving during initial driver training can help to make sure that novice drivers don’t develop bad habits. Another tactic is to add infrastructure. Some of the countermeasures commonly used to minimize aggressive driving include adding speed cushions to slow the speed on oncoming vehicles, red light cameras to deter drivers from running red lights, and adding electronic speed radar signs in targeted areas. Vision Zero is implementing many of these strategies.
There are some ways to protect yourself from aggressive drivers. If you spot one, try to get some space between your vehicle and theirs. Slow down and let them go by you. Don’t make gestures or otherwise provoke someone driving aggressively; if you see someone driving dangerously, pull over and notify the police.
Remember not to become an aggressive driver. Practice driving courteously. Leave enough time to get to your destination so that you don’t feel the need to exceed the speed limit. Avoid driving when you are angry or upset. Use your horn only when necessary, give others the benefit of the doubt.
DISTRACTED DRIVING DANGERS
Distracted driving is considered anything that causes a driver to lose focus on the road or the activity of driving. In recent years, distracted driving has become to rival impaired driving as one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents; deaths due to distracted driving have doubled since 2000. The Ontario government introduced legislation designed to curb distracted driving in 2019, and as of January 1, 2021 police will no longer issue warnings about distracted driving, but instead will fine distracted drivers. The first offence will result in a thirty-day suspension with a $4,000 fine; second offence results in a two-month suspension with an $8,000 fine. The third offence will bring a three-month suspension, a $10,000 fine, and six demerit points.
There are three basic types of distracted driving:
- Visual: Looking at something other than the road
- Manual: ding, or reaching for something
- Cognitive: Attention on something other than driving
Some of the behaviours classified as distracted driving in Ontario include:
- Using cellphones or other handheld electronic devices to text or dial. These devices are one of the reasons for the skyrocketing rates of distracted driving in recent years. All three types of distracted driving can happen when a driver uses an electronic device.
- Using a handheld electronic device such as a tablet or gaming device.
- Using display screens for purpose unrelated to driving, ie, watching a video.
- Programming a GPS device, except by voice command.
Other behaviours that can result in careless or dangerous driving penalties include:
- Eating, drinking, or smoking. In order to do any of these things, you have to take your eyes off the road, and one hand from the steering wheel.
- Daydreaming or driving while in a highly emotional state.
- Arguing or becoming overly involved in a conversation with passengers.
- Adjusting the car’s controls such as the heater or the sound system.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident — whether or not aggressive or distracted driving contributed to the accident — contact Sokoloff Lawyers, a personal injury law firm that serves the Brampton area. Accident victims sometimes hesitate to call a lawyer, but only a personal injury lawyer can understand all of the aspects of your case. Our lawyers work on a contingency basis; we don’t get paid up-front fees, instead we receive a percentage of any settlement that you receive. And an initial consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers is free.