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After years of campaigns and police reinforcement, the majority of people in Ontario understand that drinking and driving is very dangerous. Unfortunately, though, it seems to have been replaced by another dangerous driving habit. The distracted driver is the new drunk driver, and statistics show it's a phenomenon on the rise.

According to police statistics, by the end of August 2016, 38 people had died in accidents in Ontario that year in which distracted driving played a role. By comparison, there were 19 fatalities in drunk driving accidents during the same time period. Over the entire year, 309 people were killed on O.P.P. patrolled roads, and distracted driving was reportedly one of the leading factors.

Statistics provided by the Insurance Bureau of Canada indicate that a motorist has a 23 times greater chance of being in an accident when texting and driving, and talking on the phone quadruples the odds. Despite the availability of figures like these, the Canadian Automobile Association found that 33 percent of drivers they surveyed admitted to texting at red lights. Even the threat of a maximum $1,000 fine and three demerit points doesn't seem to be enough to get some drivers to put down the phone and pay attention to the road.

Safe driving should be common sense, but, regrettably, not every driver operates his or her vehicle in a conscientious manner. For anyone injured in an accident with a distracted driver, it may be helpful to speak with a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer who has experience handling distracted driving cases in Ontario may be able to successfully reach a suitable settlement. 

Source: simcoe.com, "Are tougher fines required for distracted drivers?", March 16, 2017

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