You can’t control everyone else on the road, but you can control your own actions. And by doing the right thing, you can at least limit your odds of ending up in an accident on one of Toronto’s busy streets.
Start by driving safety and practicing defensive driving techniques. Remember that other drivers are unpredictable: never tailgate or attempt a dangerous pass that relies on the behavior of another driver to succeed.
Never drive while distracted. Texting and driving can be deadly, but remember that eating and driving can be, too. Fiddling with the radio, turning to talk to the kids, or talking on the phone can all create a dangerous situation.
Never drive drunk. Drunk driving kills thousands in Canada every year, and there is no excuse for putting yourself and others in danger. Call a cab, use a rideshare app, or take public transit.
In fact, you may want to take public transit even if you’re sober: it’s safer than driving!
If you do your best to stay safe, you’ll minimize your odds of being involved in an accident. But you can never be 100 percent sure that you will avoid a collision, so you had better know what to do at the scene of an accident and afterwards.
At the scene of the accident
When you’ve been involved in an accident, your first concern should be safety. That means your own safety, so check on yourself: are you hurt? Do you need help? If you’re okay, move on to checking on your passengers, the other parties involved in the accident, and bystanders nearby. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately!
Even if you’re alright, you’re not out of the woods just yet. You need to be wary of other drivers on the road. Use your common sense to find a safe place. If you car is driveable and there is a safe place to pull over, consider moving your car to the side of (or off of) the road. If that’s not possible, evaluate whether it is safer to stay in your vehicle or to get out and leave the road.
Once you’re confident in your safety, it is time to consider your future. You will have to deal with insurance companies and perhaps even lawyers, so make sure you get the information you need. Get the other driver’s insurance information, make notes on the accident, and take photos with your phone.
You may not be the only one documenting the scene. The police may be there, too, and you should call them yourself if your accident resulted in any injuries or more than a couple thousand dollars in damage. In fact, you may want to call them regardless: it’s better to be safe than sorry, and a police report can be valuable documentation.
After the accident
If you’re involved in a car accident, you could find yourself dealing with serious injuries. Unfortunately, you could end up with steep bills, a lower quality of life, and lost income due to someone else’s negligence.
Fortunately, there are experts right here in Toronto who can help you improve a situation like this. If you’ve been injured in an accident, you should reach out to a car accident lawyer right away. Set up a consultation and show up prepared with documentation related to your case, including police reports, medical bills, and pay stubs. Explain your situation clear and concisely, and listen to the attorney’s opinion and advice.
Ideally, you could find that you are able to recoup your losses through a court award or settlement. It’s important to remember that you can still protect yourself and your rights even after an accident — but don’t wait too long! The sooner you call an attorney, the more options you will have.