Canada’s Impaired and Distracted Driving Stats are Incomplete

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personal injury lawyers worry about incomplete driving stats

Impaired driving fatalities have declined across North America for several years. Distracted driving fatalities, meanwhile, have increased. Both events remain major points of emphasis for law enforcement officials and personal injury lawyers alike; together, they account for many of the fatal accidents on Canadian roads.

Policymakers rely on data and insights from across Canada to identify trends and establish strategies to reduce impaired and distracted driving. Unfortunately, the data at their disposal is incomplete. According to CBC Investigates, the BC Coroners Service has failed for several years to share important data on impaired and distracted driving deaths in the province. It has also failed to share data on drownings.

“We’ve been trying to get that data because it represents anywhere between 10 and 15 per cent of the population,” said Steve Brown of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) to the CBC. “We’re doing everything at our end. We’ve filled out all the research agreements and that type of thing.”

British Columbia’s failure to deliver these numbers concerns Ontario personal injury lawyers because it prevents accurate analysis of road safety laws. Without understanding the impaired and distracted driving tendencies of up to 15 per cent of the population, it is impossible to understand the tendencies of the country as a whole.

Even some of the more forthcoming provinces have only provided statistics through 2016. In other words, we can’t be exactly sure of what is happening on our roads.

“It’s appalling,” said Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada CEO Andrew Murie, also to the CBC. “We’re almost [in] 2020 and we’re still working off 2014 [numbers]. We’ve had historical events in this country, like the legalization of recreational cannabis, with the big issues and debate around driving and what effect it’s going to have, and we’ve got nothing. Nothing.”

Personal injury lawyers are acutely aware of the dangers posed by impaired and distracted driving. So, too, are lawmakers; however, lawmakers’ decisions must be based on a robust understanding of what causes fatalities on Canadian roads. Without accurate and up-to-date data, that understanding will continue to be incomplete.

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a traffic accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced team will assess your claim, help you file necessary insurance documents, connect you with leading medical and rehabilitative treatment providers, and represent you throughout the legal process. Reach out today to learn more.

Greg Neinstein, B.A. LLB., is the Managing Partner at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers LLP. His practice focuses on serious injury and complex insurance claims, including motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall injuries, long-term disability claims and insurance claims. Greg has extensive mediation and trial experience and has a reputation among his colleagues as a skillful negotiator.
Greg Neinstein
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