Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is calling this past Labour Day long weekend the deadliest in 20 years. Preliminary data shows that there were 14 deaths over the three-day weekend, including one water-related and one off-road vehicle death.
One crash in Northwest Ontario killed all four people traveling in the vehicle. Two others were killed in separate single-vehicle roll-over accidents near Windsor.
Distracted Driving Likely to Blame
OPP has indicated that distracted driving is likely the cause of many of the accidents and deaths.
On Friday, the police agency launched a weekend-long safety blitz targeting distracted drivers. Despite warning motorists of their campaign, the department still issued nearly 800 distracted driving charges.
According to OPP, distracted driving deaths in Ontario are set to double the number of drunk driving deaths on our roads this year. As of mid-August, police had investigated 40 distracted driving deaths, compared to 21 impaired driving deaths.
OPP noted that despite distracted driving laws dating back to 2009, highway fatalities involving distracted driving have continued to climb, bringing the province to this tragic milestone.
Ontario recently increased the fine for a distracted driving charge from $490 to $1,000, in addition to three demerit points. Distracted driving includes anything that pulls a driver’s attention away from the task of driving, such as checking a GPS, reading or sending a text or email, talking on the phone, and messing with the radio.
OPP is urging motorists to treat distracted driving in the same way they treat drunk driving. It is a very dangerous action that motorists should avoid.
The car accident lawyers at Greg Monforton & Partners understand the devastation that often results from a distracted driving accident. That is why we are committed to helping accident victims recover the maximum compensation they deserve.
Call (866) 320-4770 for a free consultation if you have been injured or lost a loved one.