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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

  • July 12, 2018 - Mississauga Nursing Home Found Negligent In Death of Elderly Patient
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  • January 22, 2018 - The Winter 2018 issue of our newsletter, Disclosure, is now available
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  • July 31, 2017 - Smitiuch Injury Law welcomes two Student-at-law. Caroline Tarjan and Gurjiwan Brar will be articling with the firm for the next 10 months.
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  • May 1, 2017 - A Brantford jury awards our client $2.4 million after a five week trial
  • April 24, 2017 - Michael Smitiuch discusses the Marshall Report and the vital role that lawyers play in helping injury victims fight for justice
  • April 6, 2017 - Michael Smitiuch discusses the Madeleine Petrielli $4M lawsuit on Global News - The Morning Show
  • April 5, 2017 - Family files $4M lawsuit against the City of Mississauga, the Region of Peel and others, after their daughter was killed while crossing the street
  • April 3, 2017 - Gold Sponsorship - HHSC 24th Annual Conference on Neurobehavioural Rehabilitation in Acquired Brain Injury
  • March 8, 2017 - UPDATE - The Adam Bari Story - Changes to Accident Benefits entitlement adds to family’s struggle
  • February 15, 2017 - Smitiuch Injury Law staff volunteers at The Toronto Lawyers Feed the Hungry Program.
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  • January 19, 2017 - Father and son file $4M lawsuit against TTC over violent Union Station confrontation
  • January 11, 2017 - "Reduced damages a tough fight for killer drunk driver" - Toronto Sun
  • January 11, 2017 - What should you do if you are in a car accident? CBC News Toronto
  • December 23, 2016 - 50th Annual CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish 2016 Toy Donations
  • December 14, 2016 - Toronto man who was wrongly convicted files $4.5M lawsuit against Toronto Police
  • December 12, 2016 - Paralyzed in crash, man wins damages from City of Hamilton over faded stop line at rural crossing (CBC Hamilton)
  • December 7, 2016 - Go to the Trial & Arbitration Awards page to read the Chiocchio v. City of Hamilton et al. summary
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