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Distracted Driving Up in 3 Provinces

Victor Lewin - Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Even though education campaigns and police blitzes have focused on distracted driving, the number of fatal car accidents involving distractions has risen by 16 per cent in Canada during the latest five-year period recorded. In Nova Scotia, the number-one reason for deaths this summer involving car accident cases was distracted driving, according to the RCMP.

Distracted driving was the largest cause of impaired driving in three provinces and has caused more accidents than drinking and driving in Ontario for several years. Distracted driving now accounts for about 30 per cent of highway accidents in Ontario, with speeding being the leading case of traffic fatalities in the province. According to Transport Canada's National Collision Database, there were 302 deaths caused by distracted driving in 2006 and 352 similar fatalities in 2010.

However, some individuals who study accident statistics believe that the number of accidents caused by distracted driving has been understated. Studies provide a broad range of 30 to 80 per cent as the number that represents how often distracted driving is a contributing factor in car accidents. Cellphones are blamed for a large part of the problem. An Ontario Provincial Police Sergeant states that electronic technology has brought the problem of distracted driving to the forefront. Laws have been established in many provinces to try to curtail the use of distractions. For example, Nova Scotia may impose fines between $164 and $337 for the use of hand-held cellphones or text messaging on any mobile device.

When a person is injured or killed because of distracted driving, the victim or his or her family may consult with a Nova Scotia personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if the victim is still alive to compensate the victim for his or her injuries. The personal injury lawyer may help surviving family members file a wrongful death claim if the victim was killed in the auto accident.

Source: CBC News, "Cellphones blamed as fatal collisions by 'distracted drivers' up", Amber Hildebrandt, August 19, 2013

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