What Happens if You are a Victim of Distracted Driving Alberta
According to the CAA, around 1.6 million crashes occur annually due to mobile phone use while driving. Also, most Canadians say that texting while driving is no#1 threat to their personal safety on the road.
Undoubtedly, mobile devices are essential, but using them while driving may distract you, causing a severe accident. For this, the government created laws and restrictions for drivers while driving, also known as the “Traffic Safety Act.”
In this article, you will learn about everything you need to know about distracted driving in Alberta.
What is considered distracted driving in Alberta?
Distracted driving includes different activities such as using your phone, texting, or browsing while driving. Eventually, this would affect the driving judgments causing crashes or accidents with other vehicles.
Some common ways that may lead to distracted driving are:
- Programming your GPS
- Watching videos
- Vaping and smoking
- Adjusting volume
- Using your phone, i.e., texting, talking, browsing
- Reading book or map
- Drinking or eating
- Talking with others
- Listening to music
In Canada, the penalty tends to vary for distracted driving. In different territories and provinces, the driving rules and regulations are different. Based on your location, the penalty for distracted driving can be demerit points, license suspension, and fines.
This article focuses on the consequences of distracted driving in Alberta, Canada.
What to do if you are a victim of distracted driving in Alberta
Even though you are careful while driving, you can never control the other drivers. So in case if you are a victim of distracted driving, follow the below steps immediately:
Look for Injuries
The first thing you need to check is whether you or anyone in the vehicle has an injury. Nothing is more important than your health. So, whether it’s minor or major, you should look for injuries at the start.
Then, report whether you had injuries or the accident by calling 911. However, you should call 911 even if you don’t have any injuries. This is because it would help you with accidental reports in the future.
Don’t leave the place because it can create complexity to the case as the other party may claim a hit-and-run case against you.
If there are other drivers involved, you should take their information. Luckily, you might also get passersby and witnesses on the accident spot. It would be best to take their information as well.
If you get a chance to take images, then you should capture the damages, accident scene, and injuries. Also, you should take pictures of the weather conditions and the roads.
Contact Your Lawyer
Finally, you should contact your lawyer whether you’re at fault or the victim. This step is very important for you as you need to prove that the other driver was driving recklessly.
How to prove distracted driving?
It’s possible to be a victim of distracted driving, and you can prove it in many ways. If you have any claim, it will work like proof or evidence.
Here are a few ways through which you can prove distracted driving:
Driver admits mistake
Sometimes, you will find that the other driver might fluster and admit their mistake of distracted driving. Therefore, you can easily prove the case in your favour. A driver should never admit that they were driving distractedly without contacting their lawyer.
Keep the police report
You should call 911 as soon as you meet an accident. Plus, you should let the authority know whether the other driver was driving recklessly. Later, you can add this report while you file your claim. For instance, you might notice that the driver talked on the phone while being careless on the road.
Contact the witnesses
You should take their information if you see any passerby who witnessed the accident. You will surely get someone on the spot to validate the case. In the future, the police will contact them to support the report.
Gather the phone records
If the driver were on the phone, they would have phone records. So, the phone records are great evidence for the court. Think about a driver talking over the phone. Their record will prove that they were driving carelessly.
What Is the Penalty for Distracted Driving?
The distracted driving penalty is quite high in Alberta. You will get 3 demerit points and a fine of about $287. If the police find that the driver was showing a serious risk or threat, they can add a $402 additional fine. However, if the driver does careless driving, they would get 6 demerit points.
Some additional penalty for distracted driving is:
- Steep fines: Driver gets 1 or 2 tickets, and the fine start from $287.
- Demerit Points: The driver gets 1 or 2 tickets and 3 to 6 demerit points.
- Miss events: Drivers stopped for distracted driving missed an event.
- Fatality or Injury: You may cause several fatalities and injuries from distracted driving. The more servere the accident, the greater the compensation will be.
- Jail Time: There are many cases where a driver kills or injures another person; they would face incarceration.
How to avoid distracted driving?
In rush hour, you have to stay focused while you’re driving or someone else drives your car. Some may find it difficult to stay alert on the roads, but this is life-saving. Also, it is very easy to avoid distracted driving. All you need to do is bring changes and mindfulness to your behaviour.
Here are a few more ways through which you can avoid distracted driving:
- Keep the mobile away: You should use your mobile when you park your vehicle. If you get a call, you can let it go or ask the person near you to receive it.
- Stay on the wheel: Avoid reading or taking notes while driving. Instead, park the vehicle and then do other work.
- Pullover: You should move the vehicle to the side of the road and stop there whenever you have to attend to anyone like pets, kids, etc.
- Plan before: Try programming all your electronic devices before starting your car. Also, set your radio stations before you head out.
- Set your phone on “do not disturb” mode: In android and apple devices, you will get this mode. You can use this to auto-reply to text or stop notifications.
- Limit your activities: When you’re out with friends, you should stay fully focused on the roads. Therefore, it’s better to limit the activities. You can ask them to help you so that you can avoid distracted driving.
- Take breaks: While driving, taking a short break every 2 hours is imperative. During that time, you can park the vehicle and check your phone if needed. Also, rest for a while if you’re drowsy.
Distracted driving is a widespread problem in Canada and all over the world. However, you can prevent it by following a few steps. Unfortunately, if you’re a victim of distracted driving in Alberta, you should hire a lawyer to help you. Personal injury lawyers handle such cases regularly so they would deal with the case better.