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Campaign seeks to warn teens about distracted driving

On June 2, some Ontario teens heard about the dangers of distracted driving from a mother of a distracted driving accident victim, the wife of the prime minister and the federal Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt. The presentation was given as part of a new national awareness campaign known as #PracticeSafeText.

The Ms. Raitt encouraged teens to take a pledge not to use their cellphones for texting or calls while driving. According to Ontario Provincial Police, there were 78 deaths in the province attributed to distracted drivers in 2013. Parachute, an injury prevention charity, says that more young people in Canada die of preventable injuries than any other cause.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of disability and death for individuals under the age of 44 is brain injury. The Ontario Brain Injury Association conducted a survey of people who had suffered brain injuries and found that 40 per cent of respondents were brain-injured as the result of a car accident.

When someone is killed or seriously injured by a distracted driver, the family or the victim may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for a lost source of income, medical expenses and other costs related to the accident. An Ontario personal injury lawyer might work with the plaintiffs to collect documentation and determine the value of a personal injury or wrongful death case.

Once the value has been determined, the lawyer may communicate with the insurance adjuster to negotiate a fair settlement. In most cases, it is possible to settle with the insurance company without a trial. There are, however, some situations in which litigation becomes necessary.

Source: CBC News, "Distracted driving is deadly, transport minister and PM's wife warn teens", June 02, 2014

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