Taverniti | Vashishth LLP (TorontosPersonalInjuryLawyer.com), a law firm specializing in all aspects of Canadian personal injury law, is commenting on new reports showing the rates of drunk driving in Canada.
Drunk driving remains a major cause of accidents and road fatalities in Canada. In Nova Scotia, incidences of drunk driving are well above the national average with over 1,000 people being arrested for impaired driving in 2015. (Source: Julian, J., “Nova Scotia RCMP arrest 1,048 impaired drivers in 2015,” CBC News, January 14, 2016; http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/ns-drunk-driving-rates-2015-1.3402629.)
“Impaired driving is a major cause of injuries and death in Canada,” says Maria Taverniti, lawyer and founding partner of Taverniti | Vashishth LLP. “It’s not just the people driving who are at risk but also other drivers, cyclists, and even pedestrians who are out. When the rates of impaired driving are this high, it really is a big concern.”
In 2014, Nova Scotia had a rate of 217 impaired driving charges per 100,000 people. This was 30% higher than the national rate for Canada.
“Thirty percent may not sound like a lot, but that can translate to a lot more injuries, deaths, and vehicle collisions,” says Taverniti. “It only takes one car crash to completely destroy someone’s life. It’s going to be crucial for the government of Nova Scotia to get their impaired driving rates down to the same level as the rest of Canada.”
Impaired driving has been declining in Canada over the last two decades. While the impaired driving rate has dropped by only 25% in Nova Scotia since 1998, it has declined by over 40% nationwide in the same time period.
“There are a lot of factors that could affect the impaired driving rate,” notes Taverniti. “It could come down to a cultural difference in the region, or possibly higher rates of alcohol consumption. Whatever the cause, people in Nova Scotia need to take action to address the problem.”
Nova Scotia’s chief public health officer noted that the rates of binge drinking in the province are among the highest in the country. Along with lowering the amount of dangerous drinking, greater police enforcement has also been proposed as a possible solution.
“One easy way to help stop impaired driving is for people to call police if they see a car driving erratically,” says Taverniti. “Reporting licence plate numbers to the police can potentially help stop devastating accidents.”
Impaired driving can cause death, but it also often leaves victims with chronic pain, paralysis, and other disabilities, which don’t always get attention in the media. Taverniti says that her firm has directly seen the impact that impaired driving can have on people.
“Once an accident occurs, people’s lives can be changed forever,” says Taverniti. “With the help of a personal injury lawyer, they may be able to seek compensation to help them cope, but they are often left dealing with lifelong injuries. It’s very sad, and we see it happen all too often.”
Taverniti | Vashishth LLP handles personal injury claims ranging from car and road accidents, slips and falls, and catastrophic claims. It is equipped to handle the most complex legal and insurance issues arising from any accident. More information can be found at www.TorontosPersonalInjuryLawyer.com.