Last updated Feb. 2, 2018.
Car accidents continue to decline in the nation, but statistics show that injury-causing and fatal accidents remain a serious threat to public health and safety.
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) reports that in 2016 – the most recent statistics available – 483 people died in the province as a result of car accidents. Meanwhile, more than 49,601 people were injured.
It is not always possible to prevent or anticipate an automotive collision. Knowing key safety rules may help to lessen the chances of being injured in a car accident.
Whether you’re navigating heavy rush-hour traffic on the 401 or driving through the Downtown Core, here are nine driver safety tips to consider.
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1. Avoid distractions
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) cite distracted driving as a “casual factor in (at least) 30 to 50%of traffic collisions” in the province. You can even be fined for distracted driving. The OPP specifically names texting and talking on cellphones as chief causes of distracted-driving accidents; cellphones have been banned while driving since 2009 in Ontario. Other driver distractions include eating, grooming, reading, and talking to passengers.
2. Beware of blind spots
Always check blind spots before making a lane change or merging into traffic. Conversely, never drive in another vehicle’s blind spot, particularly that of a large vehicle like a commercial truck or bus.
3. Don’t drive drowsy
A drowsy driver may experience delayed reactions and impaired judgment, as well as the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. Stop every two hours on long car trips, avoid driving after taking medications that cause drowsiness and maintain cool temperatures inside the vehicle.
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4. Be road ready
Many senior drivers can continue to drive safely and maintain independence, provided they adhere to basic precautionary guidelines. This includes avoiding driving at night, sticking to familiar routes, and avoiding certain medications prior to driving. Similarly, those of the opposite age spectrum — teenagers — need a little extra guidance when driving and can follow the same rules. Avoiding alcohol and drugs at any age while driving also may be the difference between life and death.
5. Forget the far left lane
Driving in the center or right lane on a multi-lane highway provides more opportunities for “escape” in the event of a sudden traffic backup or wreck. Only use the far left lane for passing.
6. Mind the speed limit
Obey the speed limit except in situations that call for driving slower than the posted speed. This includes driving during inclement weather, heavy traffic, or construction zones.
7. Anticipate problems ahead
Don’t just watch the vehicle immediately in front of you. Scan the road ahead and in adjacent lanes to better anticipate potential obstacles or incidents. Put your best defensive-driving skills to work.
8. Watch out for wildlife
The MTO reports that one out of 17 auto accidents in Ontario involves a collision with (or is caused by) a wild animal. And these types of accidents are only increasing. Between 1999 and 2008, the number of collisions with wildlife increased 42%. Be particularly cautious in May, June, and October through December, which represent peak times of the year for collisions with deer and moose.
9. Stay safe in the event of a car accident in Toronto
Stay with the vehicle in the event of a car accident. Do not leave the scene of the crash. Call police and exchange driver information, if applicable. Do not get into any arguments or talk about who was at fault for the accident.
If injured in a car accident in Toronto, you may have questions about your rights to financial recovery. Call us at 1-800-JUSTICE® or complete this online Case Evaluation Form. There is no cost to speak to a personal injury lawyer about your potential compensation, so contact Preszler Law Firm today.
You may also be interested in:
- Steps to Take If You’ve Been in a Minor Car Accident
- 7 Things Car Accident Victims Mustn’t Forget After a Car Crash in Ontario
- 6 Car Accident Injuries You May Not Immediately Notice
- What Kind of Benefits Can I Expect from a Car Accident Settlement?
- 5 Benefits of Hiring a Toronto Injury Lawyer After a Car Accident