Motor vehicle accidents are a common — and often tragic — fact of life in Canada. There were 2,227 motor vehicle fatalities across the country in 2010, according to Transport Canada. The number of people injured in motor vehicle accidents was much larger — 170,629. Of these, 11,226 were serious injuries.
You can reduce your chances of being part of these statistics by being aware of the causes of motor vehicle accidents. The most common causes are:
One category of driver behaviour is distracted driving. This includes driver texting, using a hand-held phone, slowing down to gawk at accidents and changing radio stations. Texting and the use of hand-held phones while driving are now illegal in Alberta and in many other jurisdictions.
Driver behaviour also includes high-risk activities such as aggressive driving, drunk driving and speeding. Driver fatigue is another major cause of accidents.
Except in the most extreme situations, drivers can stay safe by adapting to weather conditions. They can do this by slowing down and leaving extra space between their vehicle and others. In cases of extremely treacherous conditions, drivers should pull over until conditions improve.
Regular maintenance of key vehicle components such as brakes, steering, tires and suspension can reduce the chance of accidents caused by equipment failure.
Some roadways are more safely designed than others, though all must meet provincial and federal standards. Drivers can stay safe, especially on unfamiliar roads, by paying attention to signage.
Lack of roadway maintenance can increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents. Common hazards include unploughed roads, potholes and obscured or missing signage.
These are just some of the major causes of motor vehicle accidents. Motor vehicle accidents are common occurrences and create many issues for those involved, including how to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries. If you have any questions, please contact me.