Social Media, Media, Testing & Distracted Driving

What exactly is the definition of distracted driving? What are its effects? Our lawyers weigh in.

Since 2000, the number of collisions in Ontario due to distracted driving has doubled. Now that nearly all drivers have smartphones that can be used to send text messages, make phone calls, check email and stay up to date with social media accounts, they’re more likely than ever to become dangerously disengaged from the road. While you may not think it’s a big deal to check your texts once in a while at a red light, this kind of behaviour puts yourself—and everyone else around you—in serious danger. 

What Counts as Distracted Driving - Our Car Accident Lawyer Weighs In
Anything that impairs a driver’s ability to focus on the Owen Sound road counts as distracted driving. This could include using your phone to send a text, make a phone call, check maps or choose music. Eating, changing the volume on the radio or typing a destination into a GPS can also distract you from the road.
The rise of social media use has definitely contributed to an increase in distracted driving. Researchers have found that the popularity of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have led many people to develop bad driving habits, like posting or messaging on social media while at the wheel.
In Ontario, it’s illegal when driving to hold a hand-held communication device like a phone or an electronic entertainment device like a Kindle or iPad. The penalties for violating these rules include steep fines and possible licence suspensions, depending on how long you’ve been driving. If you’re found guilty of careless driving—distracted driving that seriously endangers others—you could even face criminal charges.

Take Steps to Avoid Car Accidents
To protect yourself and others, make a habit of never looking at your phone while you’re in the driver’s seat. If the temptation to check your messages is just too much, put it on the silent mode before leaving and keep it in a hard-to-reach place, like a bag in the back seat or inside the glove compartment.

It’s also important to keep an eye out for possible distracted drivers. If you notice someone texting or talking on the phone while driving, watch the car’s movements carefully and give it a wide berth. Distracted drivers quickly become unaware of what’s happening around them and often don’t react in time to avoid colliding with obstacles and other moving cars.

Consult a car accident lawyer in Owen Sound, if you have been involved in an accident

If you or a loved one was in a car accident involving distracted driving, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer. The lawyers at Tamming Law will be happy to offer you their legal services to help you get your life back on track. To make an appointment at our Owen Sound, Collingwood or Port Elgin office, contact us today.

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