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How to best recognize and avoid dangerous drivers

Car accidents are naturally traumatic experiences, which typically cause unanticipated financial losses along with psychological and physical damages. Authorities say most crashes are preventable; however, even if you practice safe driving habits, the potential always exists for falling victim to the negligence of other road users.

Although auto manufacturers use advanced technology to improve vehicle safety, traffic safety authorities say the leading cause of road accident fatalities is not mechanical failure or faulty safety features. Instead, vehicle operators cause most of the injuries and fatalities on Ontario roads.

Primary causes of car accidents

Crash statistics show that preoccupation, inattention, impairment and aggressiveness cause most car accidents. Authorities also warn that many fatal crashes occur after dark in urban areas that have establishments like pubs, clubs and restaurants that serve alcohol. By looking out for signs of the following potentially threatening drivers, you may be able to improve your chances of avoiding an accident:

  • Drunk drivers: Even though drug or alcohol-impaired drivers can receive sentences from 10 years for causing bodily injuries to life for causing death, drunk driving remains one of the leading causes of crashes in Ontario.
  • Distracted drivers: While texting and other cell phone can cause many distracted driving accidents, other things can distract drivers as well. These include passengers and children, reading maps, books and other documents, adjusting the music system or radio, looking at the scenery or rubbernecking, which is reducing speed to stare at other accidents.
  • Fatigued drivers: The hours between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. are typically the most dangerous because your body's circadian rhythms tells it to slow down and sleep. Fatigued drivers often yawn and fight to keep their eyes open, and they might feel irritable, drift across the road, fluctuate speed, see non-existing objects on the roadway and more.
  • Aggressive drivers: Aggressive drivers have strong tendencies to speed, run red lights, tailgate, weave through traffic and act abusively toward other drivers. They refuse to yield to others and often resort to verbal abuse and even physical assault, but of all the aggressive behaviours, speed causes the majority of these unfortunate incidents – which far too frequently are accompanied by alcohol consumption.

Where can you turn for help as a victim?

Despite your best efforts to detect drivers showing signs of these behaviours, you might fall victim to a crash that was no fault of your own. Your injuries could prevent you from returning to work, causing financial instability, and you might need long-term medical care. Along with physical injuries, there is also the potential for you to suffer from psychological damages, all of which can adversely affect your life and your relationships with your loved ones.

Fortunately, the Ontario civil justice system allows you to pursue financial relief. An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide the necessary support and guidance throughout any legal proceedings that follow, increasing your odds of receiving the maximum amount of compensation to which you are rightfully entitled.

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