When you drive a vehicle on a public roadway, anything can happen at any moment. You must remain focused behind the wheel in order to react appropriately to any one of countless unexpected circumstances. Pedestrians, animals, other drivers, and inclement weather are just a few of the many variables that could impact your driving and your safety. In order to respond efficiently and effectively to unexpected circumstances on the road, it’s important to minimize distractions as much as possible.
To help keep our public highways safe and our eyes on the road, many municipalities have made certain types of distracted driving against the law. In Ontario, it’s against the law to use handheld communication and entertainment devices while driving. Doing so may put your driving privileges and your safety at risk.
What does that mean for you? This means you can’t use your cell phone, tablet, or even a handheld GPS while you’re behind the wheel. Even if you are stopped at a stoplight or sign, using a handheld device is against the law. You must be pulled off of the roadway and not impeding traffic in order to legally use your device. The only exception is for contacting emergency response personnel. For example, if you’ve been in an accident or have just witnessed one, it is okay to call the police or the fire department for help.
If you can’t use your GPS, how are you supposed to get anywhere? According to the law, you can still use devices with screens and displays (related to the task of driving) so long as they are mounted and hands-free. You may touch the device to turn it off or on, but otherwise you must keep your hands off of it. For example, scrolling through contacts on your phone or locations on your GPS is against the law.
As distracted driving becomes more and more hazardous, the laws against it become more stringent and readily enforced. In Ontario, deaths related to distracted driving have doubled since the year 2000. Statistics tell us that someone using a cell phone is four times more likely to cause an accident than someone who isn’t.
In Ontario, two people an hour suffer injury because of a distracted driver. If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, you may need the help of an experienced lawyer. Personal injury lawyers deal with distracted driving cases every day, and are dedicated to helping their clients navigate the complexities of the legal system and insurance providers. After a car accident, you may be dealing with pain, shock, and trauma. Serious injuries could lead to time out of work and expensive medical and rehabilitation bills. Some distracted driving tragedies even end in the death of a loved one.
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond can help. Call us today so our experienced staff can guide you through civil litigation while you focus on healing.