Anything that takes a driver’s eyes or attention off the road can lead to tragedy. In fact, distracted driving causes more fatal car wrecks than impaired driving in many parts of Canada, according to the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). In one province, distracted driving is responsible for 27% of fatal collisions.
These careless drivers must be held accountable for the thousands of injuries and fatalities that they cause every year. If you are suffering from injuries caused by a distracted driver, you deserve justice for the harm they’ve caused you. The car accident lawyers at Valent Legal are here to help.
At Valent Legal, we have a proven track record of successfully helping victims across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island get the results that count after tragedies like car accidents. As demonstrated by our client testimonials, our knowledgeable and compassionate distracted driving accident lawyers have what it takes to tackle even the toughest cases while also providing the exceptional customer service you deserve.
If a distracted driver has harmed you, don’t wait a moment longer to fight for the justice and full compensation you’re owed. To get started, contact Valent Legal today for your free consultation and claim review. Call us or reach us online right away.
What Are the Most Common Types of Distracted Driving Accidents?
There are several different types of distractions that can lead to motor vehicle accidents, including visual, auditory, cognitive, and manual disturbances.
Some of the most common types of distracted driving accidents involve:
- Texting while driving. Texting creates an alarmingly risky distraction for drivers. Reading or sending a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for at least five seconds. Cars cover about 14 metres in one second when you’re driving at 50 km/h. If you’re driving 90 km/h when you send a text message, then that’s like closing your eyes while driving the length of a football field.
Canadians say that one of the biggest dangers on the road is people who text while driving, and the statistics confirm this risk. In fact, texting while driving increases a driver’s chance of crashing by almost 25 times, and around 1.6 million crashes each year involve mobile phone use.
Despite this risk, a large number of Canadians still text and drive. In a CAA poll, nearly 50% of people admitted to participating in this dangerous activity while driving, and over 30% admitted to texting in the car while stopped at a red light. This is particularly scary for inexperienced teen drivers. Around 35% of teens admit to texting while driving, even though nearly all of them acknowledge that it’s dangerous.
- Using the navigation system or adjusting the radio. The CAA reports that programming a navigation system is the most distracting activities while driving, and that using an electronic device while driving increases the likelihood of a collision by almost four times. Nonetheless, a CAA poll reports that nearly half of Canadians admit to having programmed their navigation system while they were driving, and around a quarter admit to having changed a song on their phone while driving.
- Talking to passengers or to people on the phone. Even if you’re using a hands-free device, talking to people while driving still creates a significant distraction. Around 26% of car wrecks involve someone using a phone. People who check their phones while they’re driving are eight times more likely to be in a crash than people who don’t.
- Drinking or eating. Drivers who take their eyes off the road for even two seconds double their risk of getting in an accident, yet around half of Canadian drivers admit to eating behind the wheel.
Other potential distractions include smoking, vaping, grooming, reading, and watching videos.
How Many Crashes, Injuries, and Fatalities Happen a Year Due to Distracted Driving in Canada?
Distracted driving contributed to over 20% of fatal auto accidents and nearly 30% of serious injury collisions in Canada in a single recent year, according to Transport Canada’s National Collision Database. These numbers are on the rise. Just a decade earlier, distracted driving caused 16% of fatal auto accidents in Canada and 22% of serious injury collisions.
When both direct and indirect costs like pain and suffering are included, it’s estimated that motor vehicle accidents in Canada cause around $25 billion in damages each year. Overall, around 80% of crashes and about 65% of near-collisions involve some type of distracted driving. This dangerous activity costs at least $10 billion each year due to lost productivity and healthcare costs.
What Are the Consequences of Texting and Driving in Canada?
Driving safely requires a person to multitask and pay attention to multiple different things at the same time. According to the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, the average driver must keep track of 3,000 items during rush hour between weather conditions, other vehicles, pedestrians, passengers, and countless other factors.
If you’re distracted while driving and miss or ignore any one of these matters, it can lead to serious consequences, such as:
- Injuries and fatalities. If you’re texting while driving, you might rear-end someone on the highway, run over a pedestrian crossing the street, run a red light, or even drift into oncoming traffic. Texting and driving is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents that lead to significant injuries with long-term consequences. Many of these collisions even result in fatalities and permanent disabilities.
- Property damage. Distracted drivers cause accidents with everything from dented fenders to vehicles that are destroyed completely.
- Legal penalties. Canadians who send or read text messages while driving can face a variety of legal penalties, especially if their reckless actions lead to an accident. For example, in New Brunswick, drivers can be fined over $150 and get three demerit points for even handling an electronic device like a phone or GPS system while they’re driving.
Similarly, in Nova Scotia, drivers can face fines of over $575 and four demerit points if they’re caught texting or using a handheld device behind the wheel. Meanwhile, in Prince Edward Island, drivers can face fines of over $1,200 and receive four demerit points if they text, email, dial, search the internet, or use a handheld device for other distracting activities.
Additionally, texting while driving can lead to serious criminal consequences and civil penalties. If you kill or seriously injure someone because you’re driving distracted, then you might face license suspension, hefty fines, or even time in jail, plus you might owe the victims or their family significant financial compensation.
What Should I Do if I Am in an Accident With a Distracted Driver?
If you are in an accident with a distracted driver, the first priority is your health. If you don’t receive medical attention at the time of the accident, be sure to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Many auto accident injuries aren’t immediately obvious, so a thorough medical evaluation is needed to help find these injuries quickly and reduce the chance of your accident leaving you with lasting medical issues.
Visiting a physician will help you secure a critical piece of evidence for your claim against the distracted driver. The report will help you prove the severity of your injuries, plus it will help demonstrate that the accident caused your injuries instead of some other event or underlying medical condition.
Beyond a medical report, it’s also essential to gather other types of evidence to help prove what caused your crash. Other kinds of evidence could include pictures of the accident scene, such as photos of skid marks, damaged guardrails, warning signs, and traffic lights. In addition, get testimony from anyone who witnessed the crash, and ask surrounding businesses for a copy of footage from their security cameras that might have captured the accident.
All of this evidence could be critical if you need to file a lawsuit for your injuries. Many provinces have no-fault laws for car accidents, which means that the victim’s own insurance pays for their medical treatment after a crash. However, for more serious accidents with damages worth more than $50,000, the law allows victims to sue the person who caused their accident to seek compensation.
It’s vital to contact a skilled auto accident lawyer if you’re in a collision with a distracted driver. They can evaluate your case for free, help you understand your legal options, and handle all the details of your case, so you can focus on recovery.
Get Help from a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Nova Scotia
Don’t wait to get on the road to recovery after a distracted driving accident. Contact Valent Legal right away for your free case evaluation. Call us today or reach us online.