Distracted Driving: Causes, Penalties & Lawsuits
Distracted driving causes more fatal car crashes than impaired driving
In Ontario alone, the number of deaths caused by distracted drivers has doubled in the past 15 years. Statistics also show that one person is injured every 30 minutes as a result of distracted driving, and that you’re four times more likely to crash when unfocused and inattentive on the roads.
CAUSES OF DISTRACTED DRIVING
People usually associate distracted driving with talking on their cellphones or texting. However, these aren’t the only reasons why drivers take their eyes – and minds – off the road. Other causes include:
- Using your phone as a GPS or to listen to music
- Talking with passengers
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting the radio
- Personal grooming
You’ll face a series of fines and punishments if convicted of distracted driving. A to G permit holders can be fined up to $1,000 and will have three demerit points deducted from their licence. Novice drivers found guilty will be fined the same amount. However, instead of losing demerit points, they’ll have their licence suspended – 30 days for a first conviction and 90 days for a second – and ultimately revoked for repeat offences.
In the event that your distracted driving has endangered the lives of others, you could also be charged with careless driving. If found guilty, you could lose six demerit points, be fined of up to $2,000, have your licence suspended for two years and even spend six months in jail. Should you harm another person, you could face possible charges of dangerous driving. This is a very serious offence, and as such, involves much heavier penalties – like 10 years in jail – should you be convicted.
STAY FOCUSED WHEN DRIVING
It pays to be attentive and focused on the roads, and in more ways than one. Being a safe driver will help you avoid hefty fines, costly legal feels, increased insurance rates and expensive auto repairs. More importantly, though, being careful behind the wheel saves lives. Here are a few easy tips to help avoid distractions.
- Turn your phone off before getting in your car or toss it deep into your back seat
- Program your GPS before leaving
- Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination
- Keep two hands on the wheel at all times
- Drive slowly
HAVE YOU BEEN IN A CAR ACCIDENT?
The legal team at Tamming Law can help. We’ve been providing Owen Sound, Port Elgin, Collingwood and the surrounding areas with expert legal advice and representation for over 20 years now. Contact us today to speak with one of our experienced and qualified personal injury lawyers.