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3 Dangerous Myths About Distracted Driving and Texting While Driving in Ontario

There is no question that texting while driving in Ontario is dangerous and leads to serious, even fatal car, truck or bus accidents.  In fact, according to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), distracted driving was the number one cause of death on roadways in Ontario in 2013.  78 people were killed in car or other motor vehicle accidents involving texting while driving. See Texting and Driving Car Accidents in Ontario.

When Ontario drivers are on the roadways in Kingston or Ottawa, they will probably see that drivers next to them, in front of them or behind them are texting while driving.  Drivers often have misconceptions about texting while driving, which may lead them to text or talk on a cell phone while driving. Below are three common misconceptions about cell phone use, texting and driving.

1.  It is Not Illegal to Text and Drive at a Red Light

Many Ontario drivers think that if they are stopped at a red light or in traffic, they can text behind the wheel.  This is simply false. Ontario car accident law prohibits drivers from texting while driving and texting at a stop light.   Drivers can only text behind the wheel if drivers are NOT driving.  That means, the car, SUV, truck or bus must be parked or safely pulled over.  However, if a driver cannot park legally on the street, they are not allowed to disregard street parking laws and park or otherwise stop their cars on the street and text.   Drivers have to legally park their cars and abide by the traffic laws in order to text behind the wheel.

2.  Talking on a Cell Phone While Driving is Not Dangerous

The second misconception about distracted driving is that many drivers believe that talking on a cell phone while driving is not dangerous.  Further, drivers who talk on the phone while driving often believe they are not multi-tasking.  This is simply not true.  Talking on a cell phone while driving requires multi-tasking.  A recent study by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) suggests that engaging in a complex conversation while driving can be potentially hazardous because the human mind will not be focused on driving if the driver is having a serious conversation.  *Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com (Distracted driving: ‘Multitasking is a myth’)

3.  More Teens Text While Driving Compared to Adults

Another misconception about texting while driving is that more teen drivers text while driving, compared to adult drivers.  Believe it or not, research shows that adult drivers text just as much as teen drivers.  Sometimes, they may text more than teen drivers. What’s worse, adults with children often text while driving when they have their children in the car.  This not only is dangerous, but parents are setting a bad example for their children.  When their children are old enough to drive, they too will text and drive because they saw their parents do it.

Ontario Car Accident Prevention – What to Know About Ontario Texting and Driving Law

It is illegal for Ontario drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices. Currently, drivers are fined $155 if they are pulled over for texting while driving.  However, the fine will increase to $280 on March 18, 2014.

Ontario Texting While Driving Statistics

It can be difficult to break away from the myths and misconceptions around distracted driving. The facts however, are proven and hard to ignore. If you’re texting while driving:

  • You’re 23 times more likely to be in a crash or a near crash.
  • Last year there were 78 deaths due to distracted driving (compare that to 57 for impaired driving and 44 for deaths due to speed-related accidents).
  • Distracted Driving fines are $155, but on March 18, 2014 fines are increasing to $280.
  • 5 seconds is the minimum amount of time your eyes are off the road.

Ontario Texting While Driving Statistics

Deadly Consequences of Texting While Driving in Ontario            

Texting and driving can lead to deadly consequences.  If you or a loved one was injured in a car, truck or bus accident because the driver that caused the accident was texting while driving, you have legal rights and may be able to recover your damages and injuries from the accident.  To talk to someone about your car accident in Kingston or Ottawa, call the personal injury lawyers at Bergeron Clifford for a FREE consultation. 1-866-384-5886.

Contact Bergeron | Clifford LLP

Let us help you if you have been injured anywhere in Eastern Ontario. Contact us at 866-384-5886 or fill out our online form. We can meet at any of our office locations, including Kingston, Ottawa, Whitby, Carleton Place, Perth or wherever is most convenient for you.

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