Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents and personal injuries. In fact, some evidence suggests that distracted driving causes more accidents than driving under the influence of alcohol. Many pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists have been injured as a result of distracted drivers. As well, many drivers do not realize how easily they can cause accidents by being distracted.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is when a person drives their car while not paying proper attention to the road. It is considered a form of impaired driving, as the driver’s judgement and reaction time are affected. If you are driving and something besides the road is occupying your attention, then you are likely a distracted driver. There are many reasons for distracted driving, including talking or texting on cellphones, talking to other passengers in the car, eating food, adjusting the radio, or even just daydreaming.
What is Considered Distracted Driving in Ontario?
According to the Ontario distracted driving law, you can be fined, jailed, or have your license revoked if you are convicted. As well, if you cause an accident, you may be held liable and be taken to court.
In Ontario, there are clear laws against distracted driving. It is illegal to use any hand-held device while you’re driving. It is also illegal to look at any screen unrelated to your driving. This means that you can use a mounted GPS device, but you cannot hold one in your hands. You are also not allowed to hold a cellphone, text using a cellphone, hold an MP3 player, or view a laptop or DVD screen.
Distracted Driving is Caused By…
While Ontario has clear laws against using hand-held devices or viewing screens, there are other types of distracted driving too. Here are some of the most common distractions while driving.
- Cellphone Use: Most people have a hard time putting down their cellphones, but both talking and texting on the phone is a major cause of accidents. Although Bluetooth headsets are allowed to be used while driving, they may also distract you and cause an accident. Many people pull out their phones to text while waiting at a red light, but this can result in a fine or more serious trouble.
- Eating and Drinking: If you are focused on eating a meal or having a drink, then you are not focused on the road. Eating is a common cause of distracted driving. As well, even ducking down and reaching for a drink can result in an accident.
- Lost in Thought: Even if you’re not doing another activity, simply daydreaming or thinking about other things can distract you from the road. If you are lost in your thoughts, reaction times are severely delayed.
Consequences of Distracted Driving
There can be severe consequences of distracted driving. If you are caught driving while using your cellphone or another hand-held device, the legal consequences can be very severe. They can range from a ticket to jail time, depending on the case. As well, you may receive demerit points or have your license revoked.
There are other consequences drivers should be worried about too. If a driver causes an accident due to distracted driving, they may find themselves being contacted by accident lawyers representing the injured person. You can be held liable for accidents you cause, and distracted drivers can easily end up having to cover damages. Meanwhile if you are the victim of a distracted driver, then contacting an accident lawyer in Toronto is a good way to find out what your rights are and what you may be entitled to.
Taverniti | Vashishth LLP handles personal injury claims ranging from car and road accidents, slips and falls, and catastrophic claims. We are equipped to handle the most complex legal and insurance issues arising from your accident. To arrange a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call (905) 264-8686 or visit our website.