In the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of texting and driving car accidents in Ontario, including Kingston and Ottawa. Texting and driving is a serious problem, and studies have shown that texting while driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) report that there were more fatal car accidents due to texting and driving than drunk driving last year. In 2013, texting while driving accidents in Ontario claimed 78 lives. Compare that number to 57 lives lost due to impaired driving accidents and 44 lives lost due to speed-related accidents.
In October of 2009, Ontario passed legislation which bans drivers from using handheld devices. The law prohibits drivers from texting while driving and imposes a fine of $155. Ontario’s Transportation Minister Glen Murray said that despite the ban, the number of distracted driving accident and fatalities is on the rise. *Source: www.thestar.com (Distracted driving fines increase to $280 on March 18)
Later this month, drivers will face a heftier fine if they are pulled over for texting while driving. On March 18, 2014, Ontario’s government will increase the fine from $155 to $280, matching the current fine for drivers who text while driving in Saskatchewan. It will be one of the highest distracted driving fines in Canada. The fine is broken down as follows: $225 fine, $50 victim surcharge and $5 for court costs.
The Ontario government hopes that increasing the penalty will decrease the number of drivers who text while driving. Murray hopes that the law can help change the public’s perception so that people will recognize that texting and driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Currently, there is no social stigma with texting while driving like there is with drunk driving. Everyone knows that drunk driving is dangerous; however, not everyone knows that texting while driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Texting while driving is the new drunk driving.
Adults and teens alike who text while driving often believe that they are not doing anything wrong. Further, they don’t think that they can cause an accident because they believe they are good at multi-tasking. Unfortunately, these drivers are often wrong.
Texting while driving causes serious and sometimes, fatal accidents. Distracted driving accidents happen in a matter seconds. Drivers who look down for a second to read a text can cause major car accidents. For example, a driver who is looking down at a phone does not realize that traffic ahead is coming to a stop and causes a violent rear-end accident. Distracted drivers can also drift into opposing traffic and cause head-on collisions. As a result, other innocent drivers and passengers may be seriously injured, and their lives may be turned upside down because of the catastrophic injuries sustained in the car accident.
Drivers who text while driving and cause accidents never think that they can cause an accident until it is too late. The sad reality about Ontario texting while driving accidents is that they are completely preventable. Drivers need to put their phones in the glove compartment or turn off the phone when driving. No text is worth an innocent life.
We can only hope the new legislation will deter Ontario drivers from texting and driving.
Help After an Ontario Texting and Driving Accident
The personal injury car accident lawyers at Bergeron Clifford have 40 years of experience representing injured clients and their loved ones. If you were injured in an accident caused by a driver who was texting and would like to discuss any aspect of your accident, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-866-384-5886.