Car Accident Lawyer St. Catharines
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How to Avoid Common Car Accidents in St. Catharines
At Grillo Barristers, we strongly believing in community and have active servicing our community since 1984. We believe it is the responsibility of the police, the government, insurance companies, personal injury lawyers, and all other stakeholders to reduce car accidents in Ontario. Below are the common causes of car accidents in St. Catharines and elsewhere in Ontario and tips on what you can do to prevent them.
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In Niagara, there is an annual NRPS Film Festival which addressed the issue of Distracted Driving and that targets Niagara students. The Niagara Regional Police Service has a film on the top 5 Distracted Driving causes available on its website. The Niagara Regional Police Service and CAA Niagara in partnership with the Ministry of Transportation Ontario, Regional Niagara Road Safety Committee, and some driving schools also hold Distracted Driving Events to sensitize the masses on the dangers of distracted driving.
These measures are proof that the authorities take distracted driving seriously. Indeed, distracted driving continues to grow as a problem in Ontario. In the Making Ontario Roads Safer Act of 2015, the penalties for distracted driving were increased and they included 3 demerit points and an increased fine of $490 and up to $1,000 if the case ends up in court. To decrease the risk of distracted driving accidents:
- Do not talk on your cell phone while driving – this increases the likelihood of a collision by 4 times
- Do not text while driving as this increases the risk of a collision by 23 times
- Avoid animated or emotionally charged conversations with passengers
- Keep children and animals properly secured in the car
- Avoid surfing the Internet, scrolling through photos, engaging in social media, playing music
- Be careful when reading the navigation system’s screen and road signs
- Avoid concentrating on what is going on outside – do not pay attention to events or persons outside
- Do not put on makeup while driving
- Avoid reaching for things until you stop
- Do not eat or drink while driving
Careless driving can not only lead to accidents, but it also leads to the distraction of property and it attracts 6 demerit points, fines up to $2,000, license suspension of up to 2 years, and a jail term of up to 6 months. A driver can be charged with a criminal offense for dangerous driving, which attracts up to 10 years jail time in case of bodily harm and up to 14 years in case of death. To avoid careless driving:
- Take refresher courses if you feel your driving is wanting
- Always drive within the speed limit
- Do not overtake unless the road ahead is clear
- Follow traffic signs
- Always give way, even when you have right of way, especially at intersections
- Watch out for construction, playground, and school zones
Weather conditions in St. Catharines can be extreme. Rain, ice, and snow are commonplace. Rain, ice, and snow make the road slippery, increasing the time it takes to bring a car to a full stop and reducing visibility. To avoid accidents in poor weather conditions:
- Always drive at reduced speeds and cautiously
- Install winter tires
- Leave sufficient room between your vehicle and the one in front of you
- Ensure your vehicle has windshield wiper fluid to ensure the front of the windshield is as clean as possible
St. Catharines-Niagara CMA had 135.08 impaired driving violations per 100,000 population. This is more than the Ontario average of 105.59 but lower than the Canadian average of 194.31. The Niagara Regional Police Traffic Services uses the R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Drivers Everywhere) program to help reduce cases of drinking and driving. To reduce cases of impaired driving:
- Do not drive while under the influence of alcohol and drugs
- Take a taxi or have a designated driver whenever you are out drinking
- Consider serving non-alcoholic beverages when entertaining guests at your home
These are, of course, a few of the risk factors. No matter how careful you are, it is not possible to avoid accidents altogether since the actions of another driver, bicyclist, pedestrian, or motorcycle rider can lead to a collision.
If you ever find yourself in a collision and you are injured, contact a personal injury lawyer experienced with handling claims in St. Catharines to assist you to file your claim. Hiring a car accident lawyer experienced with accidents in St. Catharines increases your chances of winning. At Grillo Barristers, we know exactly how much you should seek in compensation from experience, the right channels to follow, and we have the resources and proven track-record to assist you in all aspects of your case.