The Canadian Automobile Association claims that every year in North America, driver distraction is a factor in approximately 4 million motor vehicle collisions—the Ontario Provincial Police alone have investigated “more than 600 road deaths that involved an inattentive driver” since 2009.
A 2014 article in The New England Journal of Medicine estimates that among experienced drivers, dialing a cell phone while driving is estimated to increase the risk of a collision, or a near-miss by 250%.
While using a cell phone is the primary culprit, it is not the sole cause of distracted driving; it involves anything that removes a driver’s focus—even for a split second—which may cause a fatality, including:
- Eating while driving;
- Reading while driving;
- Grooming (makeup, combing hair, even brushing teeth) while driving;
- Adjusting the radio while driving;
- “Rubbernecking” at people, or objects outside the vehicle as you drive by; or
- Dealing with animals, or children in your vehicle.
There is a large body of evidence from across the globe highlighting the fact that distractions impede driver focus and reaction times to a staggering degree—even just a few seconds of distraction can spell disaster in a car travelling 80 kilometres an hour.
Distracted driving kills.
Alberta Steps Up…But is it Enough?
The Alberta government has responded to the dangers of distracted driving through legislation. Effective January 1, 2016, the penalty for distracted driving in Alberta is a $287 fine and three (3) demerit points. Drivers can be charged for distracted driving, even if their performance does not appear to be affected; if, however, a moving violation occurs, the driver could receive tickets for both distracted driving and the violation.
Under the current Alberta driver’s license system, drivers with a Graduated Driver’s License lose their license after eight (8) demerit points, and fully licensed drivers lose their licenses after fifteen (15) demerit points—which means a driver would need a minimum of three (3) distracted driving tickets to lose their license, which means at least three (3) chances for catastrophe.
Pipella Law: Defending Victims of Distracted Driving
So long as distracted driving is permitted, people will be injured and killed on the roads. The team at Pipella Law will work with victims of distracted driving and their families to ensure they receive the support and compensation they are due.
If you have suffered a personal injury, contact the personal injury lawyers at Pipella Law today to learn how they can help you recover from this traumatic experience.