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Posted: January 2nd 2018


Winter is here. The snow continues to fall. Car crashes happen. But crashes are not caused by winter weather alone. Crashes happen because of the negligent choices we make on our challenging winter roads.

Each winter, the same old offenders line up to take credit for crashes on our roads.

What does this injury lawyer see every season?

Here is Martin Law's New Year Countdown:

1.       Following Too Close

Rear-end collisions and fender benders happen when a driver fails to leave a reasonable stopping distance   between his car and the car in front. Poor driving conditions and slick roadways highlight the need for adequate distance. Slippery roads make it much more difficult to stop suddenly. Extra stopping distance is critical in winter driving conditions;

2.       Driving Too Fast

Speeding is a problem year round. But when roads are slippery and covered with slush, skidding and sliding through intersections becomes a real issue. Reduce speed when approaching an intersection. Be pro-active and watch for cycling of lights so you can adjust your speed and come to a controlled, safe stop when necessary. Hard last minute braking in winter driving conditions is a recipe for disaster;

3.       I'm #1 Syndrome

Cyclists and pedestrians also need to use our roadways. Everyone is trying to get to work, get their errands done and pick up the kids. Your needs are not greater than anyone else's. Poor winter driving conditions make it even more imperative to slow down, be courteous and move over. Respect our Snow Plough Drivers,Tow Truck Drivers and First Responders. They risk their lives and their families' security to help motorists in the worst of winter weather. Let them do their job in safety. Impatience and failing to share the road make dangerous driving conditions absolutely deadly;

4.       Winter Homework Fail

Topping up your windshield wiper fluid, replacing worn wiper blades and checking your lights before heading out  on our winter roads can make a world of difference. Every motorist needs to see and be seen. Navigating challenging conditions can become overwhelming when you can't see where you are going. It goes from bad to worse when no one else on the road can see you in the darkness and driving snow; and

5.       Texting & Driving

Distracted driving has now become the greatest problem all Canadians face on our roads. In Central/Eastern Ontario, texting behind the wheel seems to the biggest offender of all. Coping with poor winter driving conditions is a handful in and of itself. With a smart phone in your hand or lap, one hand on the wheel and one eye on the road, difficult winter driving becomes deadly driving.

While social media campaigns and public appeals do make a difference, there is little chance that these Big Five Offenders are going to go away anytime soon.

Be mindful of yourself and others on our winter roads. All motorists must drive according to highway and weather conditions. Crashes don’t just happen. Innocent drivers shouldn’t carry the burden of other drivers’ bad behaviour in the winter time or any time.

Call an experienced personal injury lawyer to find out where you stand.

The Usual Suspects

The Big 5 Common Offenders

Martin Law's New Year Countdown