In Ottawa and throughout Ontario, motor vehicle accidents occur due to a number of different reasons. One factor known to cause many motor vehicle accidents each year is poor road conditions. While adverse weather and construction work can make road conditions in Ottawa dangerous, drivers can follow some of the following tips to greatly reduce their risk of ending up in an accident. If you have been impacted by an accident caused by dangerous road conditions, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal options for pursuing compensation.
Our car accident lawyers can meet with you in Ottawa for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
Dangerous Elements on Ontario Roads
Every road in Ontario must meet certain safety requirements for the well-being of motor vehicle operators. Dangerous road conditions can lead to serious accidents and injuries. Some of the hazards that must be properly mitigated on Ontario roads include black ice, construction work, cracks, improper signage, insufficient lighting, potholes, slick roads, and snow. Some road conditions appear fine at first, but when you add in negligent or improper driving behaviors, they can lead to deadly and life-changing accidents.
If you are injured in an accident in Ontario and road conditions were partially responsible for your injuries, it is important to remember that you have the ability to seek compensation from the government. Other parties who might be found liable include contract companies who were supposed to fix or maintain roadways as well as other motor vehicle drivers who might have been traveling nearby.
There a number of elements that suggest the actions of road maintenance workers fell below their duty of care. For one, the absence of guardrails on roads that twist or are located at high elevations would likely constitute gross negligence by the government.
The second example of a less-than-satisfactory road condition is if a road contains a faulty design that in some way places motorists at an increased risk of being seriously harmed. A third example is an unfilled and unmarked potholes in the road that drivers are unable to avoid. A fourth example is icy conditions on the roadway which are left untreated.
Ottawa Road Conditions Lawyer Near Me (416) 364-2000
Staying Safe While Driving Through Construction Zones
The Ontario section of Highway 400 sees approximately 400,000 motor vehicles a day, which over time can lead to substantial wear and tear. As a result, construction work is constantly used to maintain roadways in Ontario.
While construction plays a vital role in keeping roads in good condition, it presents a number of substantial challenges to drivers. There are certain requirements that municipalities and construction crews must meet when performing road work. One such precaution is posting adequate signage to inform motorists about the work being done in the area. The actual construction must be kept free of hazards that could harm passing motorists. If Ontario road workers fall below this standard of care, an injured motorist likely has strong legal grounds on which to pursue compensation.
Common Factors in Weather-Related Road Conditions
As many people in Ontario can attest, it can be challenging to drive in the middle of the winter. It should come as no surprise that each winter, there are a large number of accidents that occur here. Some of the most common hazards known to crop up during winter months include:
- Black ice. Many roads appear to be clear, but actually contain a hidden layer of ice. This “black ice” is super slippery, and can quickly result in life-changing accidents. In some cases, “black ice” can also be hiding under the snow.
- Freezing rain. This weather condition occurs when rain freezes as it makes contact with the roadway. Freezing rain can create a number of serious problems including making roads much more slippery and making drivers prone to sliding.
- Limited visibility. Heavy snow can occur suddenly and result in conditions that make it difficult to spot other motor vehicle drivers as well as other conditions on the road. During winter, these changes in the weather take only a few moments to occur and can quickly result in deadly accidents.
- Even though it can look similar to regular snow, sleet is much more slippery and as a result, is more likely to make roads dangerous for drivers.
If you are a driver who is forced to navigate hazardous roads during the winter, there are several helpful strategies that you can utilize to reduce the risk of being in an accident. For one, drivers should make sure to clean off their windshields thoroughly before driving. Even though this can present challenges for drivers who park their vehicles outside, it is better than the alternative of having limited visibility.
Prepare your vehicle adequately for outdoors travel. One particularly helpful step is to install snow tires that are in good working condition. Many Ontario drivers also discover that four-wheel drive, as well as anti-lock brakes, can be helpful in avoiding serious accidents during the winter. Before operating a motor vehicle, drivers should make sure that the car has received all necessary maintenance and is full of gas and oil.
Drivers should make sure to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles on the road. If you believe that there are dangerous conditions ahead of your vehicle, downshift to a lower gear before traveling over these dangerous conditions. The lower gear will let your vehicle drive more slowly and will give you better control of your vehicle.
Another important technique is to understand how to respond in case your motor vehicle begins to slide on ice, snow, or rain-clicked surfaces. Rather than press down on the gas, you should slow the vehicle down. Instead of slamming on the vehicle’s brakes, however, you should lightly pump them until your vehicle comes to a complete stop.
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Speak with an Experienced Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer
Adverse weather often creates unsafe road conditions in Ottawa. When this happens, and car accidents result, injury victims have the right to pursue compensation. In these situations, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you make an assessment of fault as well as create strong legal strategies to maximize your chances of obtaining compensation.
Contact Preszler Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.