By Matt Lalande in Motorcycle Accidents on September 27, 2020
It doesn’t take much to understand that motorcycle accidents caused by texting and driving have devastating consequences, but it cannot be stressed enough just how bad these types of accidents really can be. Texting and driving in Ontario is illegal and punishable under the Highway Traffic Act, yet many individuals continue to take this risk every day. While it may seem like no big deal to send a quick text while on the road, it is a dangerous and potentially deadly action that could end a motorcyclist’s life. Criminal charges are not worth the risk. As Hamilton motorcycle accident lawyers, we have seen firsthand the crushing impact a motorcycle accident caused by texting and driving can have on the victim and their family. We have the utmost sympathy for individuals going through this pain and suffering, especially when it is caused by one individual’s negligence.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents in Ontario and within Canada. It is also one of the leading causes of car accidents in general on our roads, and has surpassed drunk driving in frequency.
When an individual takes their eyes off the road for even one second, the risk of causing an accident doubles, and sending a text message can take up to five seconds. On major highways and freeways, five seconds of inattention is the equivalent of traveling the length of a swimming pool with your eyes closed. That is enough time to cause a serious accident, especially for motorcyclists as they are already more difficult to spot on the road.
CAA tells us that up to 26% of crashes in Ontario are caused by distracted drivers or drivers using their smart phones while operating a motor vehicle and that phone use while driving led to 1.6-million crashes in 2018. Despite the Province’s $3000 imposed fine and the loss of 3 demerit points, motorist still choose to text behind the wheel and as a result, place less visible road users like motorcylists in extreme danger by not keeping their eyes on the road.
There are three main forms of distracted driving: physical, cognitive, and visual. Physical distracted driving means the driver has removed one or both hands from the wheel and cannot perform maneuvers effectively. Cognitive distracted driving means that the individual has shifted their focus away from the task of driving to another task. Lastly, visual distracted driving means that the individual is no longer looking ahead and has taken their eyes off the road.
Texting and driving in particular is one of the more dangerous forms of distracted driving because it requires physical, cognitive, and visual effort. In order to send a text, a driver must remove one or both hands from the wheel, take their eyes off the road, and use their brain focus to compose the message. This is a combination of all three types of distracted driving in one action, creating an elevated risk for everyone on the road.
Motorcyclists are much smaller than motor vehicles, and are therefore more difficult to see in traffic. Additionally, motorcycles have different reactions to various weather conditions, such as slippery roads, that drivers are not prepared for.
Drivers are not naturally inclined to look for motorcycles when they check their mirrors and blind spots, and tend to be more focused on scanning their surroundings for other vehicles. Therefore, when performing maneuvers such as changing lanes or making turns, a motorcycle is not always in the driver’s line of vision.
Compared to motor vehicle drivers, motorcyclists are at a higher risk for suffering severe, fatal, or life-changing injuries from accidents and collisions. In fact, a recent study in the CMAJ found that the risk of serious injury is ten times more severe and five times more likely to cause death for motorcyclists than it is for motor vehicle drivers.
Since motorcyclists do not have the protection of a structured vehicle around them, they are automatically more vulnerable to any type of impact or collision. The motorcyclist will feel the weight of a large, heavy vehicle directly, while the driver has increased protection from the walls and doors of the car.
Motorcycle accidents can cause severe and traumatic injuries such as:
Many of these injuries can lead to permanent damage such as paralysis, loss of limbs, disfigurement, or death. Individuals who survive these injuries may face additional long-term consequences such as inability to work (leading to financial debt), post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, chronic pain, and decreased quality of life.
When you hire a motorcycle accident lawyer, don’t be shy to ask that lawyer if he of she has experience riding motorcycles. We believe it makes a difference. Cruising on a highway, feeling the environment and long roads is a feeling that you can’t understand until you actually ride. Riding a motorcycle is a mixture of excitement, passion, curiosity, happiness and in a sense, many of life’s worries and problems are left behind with the road that we pass while we move ahead continuously. Matt Lalande has been writing motorbikes since he was seven years old. First a YZ 80, then a YZ 125, then a mixture of sport bikes, and eventually cruiser bikes like Honda’s and Harleys. Matt is not only a motorcycle accident victim lawyer, but a motorcycle accident victim lawyer with experience writing every kind of bike there is.
Hamilton motorcycle accident lawyer Matt Lalande and his team have been working with motorcycle accident victims throughout Ontario since 2003 If someone’s negligence has caused you life-changing pain and suffering, you have every right to seek fair compensation to alleviate the financial burden you have been left with. Book a free, no-obligation consultation to speak to us at no charge and go over the options available to you. If you are too unwell to travel, we will happily come to you at your convenience, and give you our utmost dedication and empathy. There is no harm in seeing what options you have. Call us today nationwide at 1-844-LALANDE or local at 905-333-8888 for your free consultation today.