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Why “me-first” drivers are the most dangerous drivers

This article looks at how selfish driving, especially distracted driving, has increased in Canada.

For roads and highways to remain safe and orderly, each motorist is expected to follow the same rules as everybody else. Aggressive drivers who put their own priorities before the safety of others on the road are, of course, much more likely to cause a car accident and to create a dangerous overall road environment for everybody. Unfortunately, as a recent Maclean's article notes, selfish drivers who disregard the safety of others are becoming far more common on Canada's roads. In fact, the "me-first" attitude of too many drivers has become so serious that it now presents a greater danger to road safety than drunk driving.

"Me-first" driving

The sort of "me-first" driver that the Maclean's piece highlights is a familiar one: the motorist who takes up two lanes, who doesn't signal, who cuts off other drivers, or who veers wildly while also speeding. Such disregard for the rules of the road is not simply discourteous, it is a threat to public safety. Yet, according to safety experts, law enforcement, and others, such behaviour is increasing.

Perhaps the greatest indication of that increase is the rise in distracted driving. Distracted driving now kills more people than drunk driving does. At the same time, however, the social stigma that has been attached to drunk driving - and which has helped fuel big drops in drunk driving accidents - is still lacking when it comes to distracted driving. Furthermore, many people have an overly limited view of what they consider distracted driving to be. While many people associate cellphone use with distracted driving, safety experts note that eating, watching videos, personal grooming, talking to passengers, and engaging with hands-free devices can be just as distracting as talking or texting on a cellphone.

Improving safety

Fortunately, the news is not all bad when it comes to driver safety. Ontario, for example, passed some of the toughest distracted driving laws in North America last year, according to CBC News. Fines were increased to between $300 and $1,000, along with three demerit points, compared to the old range of $60 to $500. Such tough penalties could be an indication that attitudes towards distracted driving are finally becoming less forgiving.

Police and safety experts also say that focusing on young drivers may be the key to truly making a dent in distracted driving rates, which is why driver safety outreach programs have increased considerably at high schools across Canada. Ultimately, however, it is the parents themselves - often the drivers who are the toughest to break of bad driving habits they have acquired over the years - who need to set a good example for younger drivers.

Personal injury

An accident can happen at any time, especially with so many drivers putting their own priorities before the safety of other road users. For those who have been involved in a crash, a personal injury lawyer can help. With qualified legal advice, accident victims will have the strong representation they need to help them in their pursuit of compensation and justice following their ordeal.

Keywords: car accident, “Me-first” driving, Improving safety, Personal injury, most dangerous drivers

In The News

  • October 14, 2016 - Read the Hamilton Spectator story to find out how regulation changes are affecting an Ontario family
  • October 3, 2016 - The Fall 2016 issue of our newsletter, Disclosure, is now available.
  • October 11, 2016 - Michael Smitiuch discusses the impact of recent auto insurance changes - CBC Toronto Metro Morning and Ontario Morning
  • October 3, 2016 - The Fall 2016 issue of our newsletter, Disclosure, is now available.
  • September 28, 2016 - Peter Cho & Michael Smitiuch give talk about the Stilwell v. Corning case
  • September 26, 2016 - New Associate Lawyer joins the firm - Mr. Matthew Nieuwland
  • September 22, 2016 - Michael Smitiuch Co-Chairs & Speaks at The Law Society of Upper Canada Program
  • August 2, 2016 - Two New Articling Students Join Smitiuch Injury Law
  • July 26, 2016 - We are growing again! We are looking to hire a full time Law Clerk in our Tort department.
  • June 30, 2016 - Read Mike Smitiuch's article this week in Lawyers Weekly on increased use of video evidence in civil cases
  • June 29, 2016 - 2016 Smitiuch Injury Law Scholarship Recipients Announced - St. John's College & Assumption College, Brantford
  • May 26, 2016 - Michael Smitiuch discusses the changes to Ontario's auto insurance on CBC Radio Ontario Morning
  • January 4, 2016 - Articling Student Joins Smitiuch Injury Law
  • December 21, 2015 - 49th Annual CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish 2015 Toy Donations
  • December 10, 2015 - Michael Smitiuch selected as a Legal Expert by Global Law Experts
  • November 20, 2015 - Smitiuch Injury Law staff volunteers at The Toronto Lawyers Feed the Hungry Program
  • November 18, 2015 - Bola Damages Suit Against Toronto Police
  • November 18, 2015 - Family Files $5 Million Damages Suit Against Police
  • October 27, 2015 - The Fall 2015, issue of the Smitiuch Injury Law newsletter, Disclosure, is now available.
  • September 16, 2015 - We are pleased to announce the opening of an office in Hamilton!
  • September 15, 2015 - Should Ontario's legal regulator ban lawyer advertising?
  • September 9, 2015 - Chris Jackson awarded OTLA's 2015 Outstanding Law Clerk Award
  • August 13, 2015 - Family Whose Son Died in Muzik Club Shooting Mourns Loss and Looks For Answers
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