From the Ontario Ministry of Transportation 2018 Ontario Road Safety Annual Report Selected Statistics, some of the recognized main causes of car accidents in Ontario include inattentive or distracted driving, drugs and alcohol abuse, and speeding. While some accidents are entirely accidental and are caused by poor weather conditions, mechanical failure, or other factors, many of the accidents that result in injuries and fatalities were preventable.
The Main Causes of Car Accidents
When it comes to collisions on the road, the main causes of car accidents are many. Here is a more in-depth look at the typical causes of car accidents.
Reckless Driving and Speeding
According to the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, Canada lost 800 people due to accidents caused by speeding and aggressive driving, and another 3,000 suffered injuries. Speeding, one of the main causes of car accidents, affects a driver’s reaction time. The faster the driver moves, the less time he has to react to sudden changes on the road. Speed also directly affects the amount of force transferred in an impact, which may result in more serious injuries and a greater possibility of a fatality.
Drug- or Alcohol-Impaired Driving
While alcohol-impaired driving remains a major cause for concern in Canada, between 2000 and 2014, the Traffic and Research Foundation reported a 40% decline in fatalities caused by alcohol-related collisions. However, alcohol continues to be one of the main causes of car accidents. That said, from a 2011 poll reported by Brain on Board, 7.5% of Canadian drivers would put false faith on their car’s modern safety features as a justification to drink and drive.
Unfortunately, when it comes to impaired driving one of the effects of a higher blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is a slower reaction time and diminished judgment. Regardless of the brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, if a driver is unable to react in time, they are still likely to have a car accident.
Inattentive or Distracted Driving
According to Transport Canada, distracted driving occurs anytime the driver is focused on something other than the road. This behavior could include eating and drinking, talking on a cellphone or with passengers, using the car’s global positioning system (GPS) or radio, or sending a text message and more.
Transport Canada reported that in 2016, distracted driving was the likely cause of 21% of fatal accidents and 27% of serious injury accidents. In addition, the statistics show that behavior is increasing.
A 2016 report by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) summarized the characteristics of fatally injured victims involved in fatigue-related fatal collisions in Canada between 2000 to 2013. Fatigue led to behaviors like weaving across lanes and around cars, irregular speed and speeding, ignoring road signs, and erratic braking. All the previously mentioned behaviors increase the likelihood of a collision.
In addition, TIRF reported that 18.5% of the people they surveyed in 2011 admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel.
Young, new drivers who are less experienced are among those likely to drive fatigued, according to TIRF. They are among those who are likely to be driving late at night due to their lifestyle and adolescent biological issues related to their circadian clocks and alertness. This combination of factors puts them at a high risk for a fatigue-related car accident.
Types of Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
There are a wide variety of injuries that result from car accidents in Canada. A few of the main types of injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Whiplash: This injury is frequently caused by a rear-ended collision and occurs when there is a sudden, rapid back and forth movement of the head. Though it typically heals rapidly, there may be long-term complications.
- Broken ribs: A broken rib may occur when a car accident victim sustains a sudden and forceful blow to the chest. Broken ribs typically heal on their own, although they do require the victim to limit activity during that time. Complications are possible, though, if the broken rib pierces a lung or other organ.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Ranging in severity, TBIs are frequently caused by car accidents. In cases where the damage is more severe, victims may experience a loss of coordination, slurred speech, and confusion.
If you or someone you love has been hurt or killed in a car accident, you are not alone. You may be eligible to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses, if you qualify. The team at Preszler Injury Lawyers is here to help. Call us today at (416) 364-2000 for a free initial review of your case.