Winter is the season that most Canadian drivers – and car accident lawyers – fear, but autumn presents its own challenges. According to the City of Toronto, motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians increase by upwards of 30 per cent during evenings from November to March. With that in mind, the city launched a road safety initiative coinciding with the end of daylight saving time.
“I think people know that this time of year is one of the most dangerous times for pedestrians and cyclists,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory at a press event on November 1. “It is going to require people to change their behaviour, for drivers in particular to pay closer attention, if we are going to achieve our goal of reducing the number of people seriously injured and lives lost as a result of pedestrian- and cyclist-related collisions.”
Thirty-four pedestrians have been killed in Toronto so far this year, up from 42 all of last year, according to analysis by the Toronto Star.
The safety campaign will aim to reduce distracted driving, dangerous driving, and speeding through a series of ads online, in public spaces, and on TV and radio. Toronto Police also conducted a week-long safety blitz, and the city plans to reduce speed limits on hundreds of kilometres of road by 2020 as part of its Vision Zero 2.0 strategy. It may also introduce automated speed enforcement next month
What You Can Do to Prevent Traffic Injuries
As all car accident lawyers know, awareness initiatives and enhanced law enforcement are only successful when they lead to meaningful changes in driver behaviour. Here are a few tips that can help you contribute to safer streets this fall.
Be aware of the weather. Fall weather can be tumultuous in Ontario. Check your local forecast for fast-moving storm fronts and sudden temperature swings.
Watch out for leaves! According to the CAA, “wet leaves can be as slippery as ice to drive on… If you must drive on them, reduce your speed and proceed with caution – and avoid braking hard as it can cause your car to slip. Leaves may also hide road lines and other markings, so pay attention to the edge of the road and stay in your lane.”
Lighting conditions are changing. It’s not just earlier nightfall that affects road safety; the position of the sun can put drivers at risk, as well. Glare tends to worsen during autumn commutes, so keep your sunglasses on deck.
Obey the rules of the road. The most important thing you can do to keep the roads safe is to follow common road safety practices. Never drive while distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, avoid speeding, and don’t drive aggressively.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced team of Ontario car accident lawyers will explain your legal options and provide guidance and advice as you consider a legal claim.