Time Changes, Winter Driving, Pedestrian Safety...

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At 2 a.m. on November 7, 2010, we regained an hour of sleep as we turned the clock back an hour. Yes, that was a joyous occasion for all of us who adore sleep. It was not without its consequences. It is a reminder that Winter is soon upon us; we have fewer hours of sunshine, it will be getting darker earlier; just in time for rush hour traffic. Toronto Police decided to launch a safety campaign to keep pedestrians safe from November 8th to 14th 2010.

This campaign focused on motorists, cyclists and pedestrians who commit offences at crosswalks, intersections, crossovers, school zones and crossing areas. Pedestrian deaths make up about 50% of traffic fatalities annually with the City of Toronto. Let us not forget the treacherous winter of 2010. It has been noted that there is a historically larger representation of pedestrian fatalities and collisions between November and March, when Daylight Saving Time returns. What were the results of the Pedestrian Safety Blitz? More than 13,000 tickets were issued!

  • More than 1,000 tickets were given to drivers for failing to stop at a red or an amber light
  • Approximately 1,200 tickets were given to drivers for disobeying stop signs
  • Approximately 200 charges were laid against cyclists for riding their bicycles in a crosswalk
  • Approximate 1,200 tickets were issued to pedestrians
  • In 2010 alone, there have been 34 traffic fatalities (this does not include the number of people injured)

In the 48 hour period between November 16, 2010, and November 18, 2010, 15 pedestrians were struck by motor vehicles. Police attribute this to the time change, dark skies and weather and to the simple fact that pedestrians literally are trying to get across the street as fast as they can, to seek shelter from the elements.

Recently Canadian Tire conducted a survey concerning the Winter driving habits of Canadians. The results were interesting to say the least. Instead of using salt to assist with wheel traction, kitty litter has surfaced as a viable option for 18% of Canadians. Ice scrapers? Try using a credit card! Another great tip: wrap your car in a blanket before an expected snowfall to reduce cleaning time the following morning. You may have noticed the increase in advertisements on the radio and on television for winter tires, complete with demonstrations of how winter tires actually allow your car to come to a complete stop. Some drivers have decided that in lieu of purchasing and installing a full set of winter tires, they would put weights in their trunk or only install 2 winter tires.

At Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers LLP, we promote safe driving, and walking, all year round.

Here are our safety tips for winter commuting:

1. As a cyclist/pedestrian, make sure your clothing is bright, reflective - try to make yourself visible.

2. As a cyclist/ pedestrian, make sure when crossing an intersection that your hood does not block your peripheral vision.

3. As a cyclist/pedestrian, make sure if you are listening to music, you are still paying attention to traffic signals as you cross an intersection.

4. As a cyclist, if the road has a bicycle lane, stay in that lane and follow the lane!

5. Drivers: Winter tires make a difference! Install a full set!

6. Drivers: Keep an ice scraper and snow brush in your car at all times.

7. Drivers: Give yourselves extra time to properly defrost your car before starting your drive.

8. Drivers: Be careful when turning left and right at intersections where pedestrians are crossing; allow yourselves enough time to slow down before entering the intersection- if you have to wait, it's better than injuring someone.

9. Pedestrians: Give up on jay-walking- if caught, you get a ticket, and regardless, you put yourself at risk for a fatal accident or potential injuries.

10. Drivers/Cyclists/Pedestrians: Don't Rush...Nothing is more important than your life! Everyone should remember to STOP- LOOK- LISTEN

And if the unthinkable happens, remember, the personal injury lawyers at Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers LLP are here to help you through your trying times.



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