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When you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, it is expected that you – and all other drivers on the road – will stay focused, be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution at all times. Unfortunately this is not always the case, as distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of car accidents today.

Using your mobile device while operating a motor vehicle is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. Before smart phones, the problem centered around answering calls, making calls and sending text messages from a cell phone. Today, our mobile devices let us do so much more. From SnapChat to mobile GPS apps and instant and unlimited access to the Internet, drivers are having more and more trouble putting away their phones for the full duration of their drives.

Because of the growing issue of mobile device use behind the wheel, Ontario has made quite a few adjustments to the law over the last 10 years. In October, 2009, Ontario banned the use of hand-held devices while driving, and in subsequent years the consequences and fines for those who break this law have become more serious.

Other Types of Distracted Driving

While using a mobile device while driving is one of the most common forms of distracted driving, it’s important to note that it is not the only way drivers can be distracted behind the wheel. Although other forms of distracted driving may not offend the prohibition of using hand-held devices, they may give rise to other penalties for careless driving and these could include:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Putting on makeup
  • Operating a GPS
  • Searching for, and selecting music or a music station
  • Adjusting climate controls
  • Looking for items in your vehicle

At the end of the day, distracted or careless driving could be defined as anything that takes the driver’s full attention and focus off the road.

The Consequences

The reason distracted or careless driving is such a serious issue is because it can have catastrophic consequences. When you take your eyes and attention off of the road, you are much more likely to cause an accident. Distracted or careless driving accidents can seriously injure, and even kill, yourself, loved ones and friends in your vehicle as well as others using roads and sidewalks. In many cases, injuries caused by distracted or careless drivers can have lifelong physical, mental and emotional effects on a victim. In addition to increasing the risk of seriously injuring yourself, a loved one or an innocent stranger, you could also face a number of penalties under the law, if caught for distracted driving. These penalties include a fine between $400 to $1,000 and having three demerit points applied to your driver’s record.

Contact Harrison Pensa

If you’ve been injured in a collision that was caused by a distracted or careless driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. It is always best to contact a professional personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to understand your options and to take legal action. At Harrison Pensa, we understand how difficult the recovery process and the legal process can be for victims of vehicle collisions. Our experienced staff will help you every step of the way by laying out your available options, building your case and helping you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.

A word from our clients

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"My wife was involved in a very serious motor vehicle collision several years ago, and luckily she survived, but unfortunately she suffered some injuries."
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January 8, 2016

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HARRISON PENSA ™ is a full-service law firm representing private & business interests throughout southwestern Ontario.

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