Distracted driving, as a contributing cause of serious accidents, is not new but the causes of distraction have increased as our society adopts new and more pervasive technology.
The RCMP considers distracted driving a form of impaired driving, because “a driver’s judgement is compromised when they are not fully focused on the road.” In Alberta alone, 97% of distracted driving convictions were for using a hand-held electronic device while driving. In an effort to reduce distracted driving incidents, as of January 1, 2016, penalties for distracted driving in Alberta began to include three demerit points in addition to a $287 fine. Continue reading
Snowmobiling is a popular winter sport in Alberta. Anyone who is into the sport knows it is more of a culture. Many back country roads are only accessible by snowmobile during the winter months, and it is one form of transportation that makes travel in some of our smaller communities possible. Along with the fast speeds on unpredictable terrains come snowmobiling injuries. It’s likely that at least someone you know has suffered injury from a snowmobile accident. As experienced personal injury lawyers, we have talked to many snowmobile accident victims who want to know whether they can recover damages for their injuries. Continue reading
The holidays are soon approaching, and for many of us, this will mean a welcome visit from our senior parents or grandparents. You may be concerned for their safety while driving long distances on the winter roads or in poor weather conditions. Statistics report that people 70 years of age and older have the second-highest accident rate per kilometer as compared to other age groups. Only young male drivers have a higher accident rate.
Driving concerns for seniors include:
- Delayed reaction time – this article indicates that a 65-year-old has a reaction time 22 times slower than a 30-year-old;
- Impaired eyesight – vision problems such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, can make it difficult to see clearly or drive at night, and may give rise to difficulties with depth perception;
- Age-related hearing loss – for example, reduced ability to hear a car honk or an approaching emergency vehicle or train can become issues;
- Growing forgetfulness;
- Range of motion issues such as shoulder checking and moving hands and feet.
Bottom line – this will be a gift to you and your personal injury lawyer.
The other driver either being convicted of or pleading guilty to a criminal offence, such as impaired driving, or a traffic offence, such as failure to stop at a stop sign, will go a long way to proving the liability (fault) of the other driver in causing the motor vehicle accident, and thus go a long way to proving their liability for your damages suffered.
Take the impaired driving situation, for example. If the other driver is found guilty of impaired driving, under the Alberta Evidence Act, their conviction can be admitted as proof of the underlying facts in your civil trial for damages. Continue reading