5 Road Safety Tips

Fall is an exciting time of the year. The leaves are changing colours, the air is getting cooler and the idea of wrapping up in a blanket with a warm beverage is too good to resist. There are pumpkin patches to visit, apples to pick and piles of leaves to jump in.

Going for a car ride to admire the beautiful colours and scenery Ontario has to offer is a great way to spend time with your family outside of your home in a safe environment. While these mini-road trips can induce a sense of freedom and possibility, they can also pose a serious risk when drivers fail to navigate the roads safely.

So, before you embark upon your next adventure, ensure that you’re aware of these safety precautions that must be taken to ensure a safe arrival at your destination:

 

Plan Ahead

First and foremost, it’s crucial to map out your route before you sit down in your vehicle. In doing so, you will learn ahead of time if you will be encountering any obstacles such as construction zones. In addition, planning ahead gives drivers the confidence of knowing how long the drive will take, so they can plan accordingly and avoid rushing through traffic to make it to their destination on time.

 

Double Check Items in Tow

It’s imperative that if you are towing a trailer, a boat, or any other item behind your vehicle, you ensure that it is secured properly. If it’s a trailer, double-check that the lights on it are working, so that the traffic following behind you can see if you are about to pull over or turn. Furthermore, confirm that the trailer tires are in good shape, to avoid any potentially dangerous accidents on the highway.

 

Avoid Distracted Driving

The digital age has created the pressing issue of smartphone addiction. If you’re operating a vehicle, you should comply with a strict “no cell phone” rule, to avoid any temptation to check your phone. Distracted driving is a highly dangerous plague to the safety of drivers everywhere.

Luckily, Ontario law now deems it illegal for drivers to use their phones for communication purposes while on the road. Still, not everyone adheres to these laws, and those who use their cell phone behind the wheel are four times more likely to crash than those who focus on driving. Not only do you amplify the risk of causing your passengers harm by checking your phone, you further put the safety of surrounding vehicles in jeopardy.

However, if you’re on the road and desperately need to make a call, you are permitted to do so using Bluetooth technology and the hands-free function on your phone.

 

Practice Defensive Driving

Defensive driving entails driving with the sole intent of avoiding a collision. This may mean remaining even-tempered when faced with aggressive drivers, maintaining a comfortable speed, and a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles. By having patience and practicing defensive driving, you limit the risk of injuring yourself, your passengers, and the people in surrounding vehicles.

 

Stay Focused

If your trips Point A is a considerable distance from its Point B, you’re going to need to ensure that you get the rest you require to avoid a fatigue-related collision. You should not allow the excitement and anticipation of reaching your destination to impair your judgment of when it’s time to take a break from driving. Furthermore, be sure to make frequent stops at gas stations, even if you don’t need to purchase anything so that you can stretch and increase your alertness and blood circulation.

By taking these safety precautions on your road trip, you’ll dramatically lower your risk of getting into an accident on your journey. However, if you have been injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, you may be able to receive compensation for the damages you faced. Contact us to book your free consultation.

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Tips for Safe Winter Driving

Staying safe and following the rules of the road is always important. It becomes even more important during the winter months when roads and driving conditions are less than ideal.

It is during this time that our team at Dye and Russell Personal Injury Lawyers see an increase in vehicle accidents among other seasonal accidents such as a slip and fall.

Contacting a #personalinjury lawyer if you have been involved in an accident is one of the first things you should do. The experts at Dye and Russell have experience working with #vehicleaccident claims and understand your frustrations. We are here to get you what you deserve and make recovery as smooth as possible.

If you plan on driving anywhere this winter, here’s what you should know.

 

  1. Winterize your vehicle. 

 Prepare your vehicle for the Canadian winters by taking the necessary precautions.

  • Change your tires from all-seasons to winter tires.
  • Properly defrost windows and remove any obstructions like ice.
  • Update your car safety-kit with winter items like an ice scraper.

Failing to equip your vehicle with the proper tires or performing regular maintenance could lead to an accident and potentially cause serious #injury. In instances when an accident has occurred reaching out to an experienced personal injury lawyer can help answer many of the questions you will no doubt have.

  1. Keep fluid levels topped up.

In addition to regular maintenance, it is important to keep your fluids (like gas and windshield-washer fluid) topped up. Condensation in the gas tank has the potential to freeze and cause problems and a lack of windshield-washer fluid can limit visibility when driving.

The lack of visibility is a serious risk while driving in winter conditions. It is easy for ice to build up and for a vehicle to spin out of control. Should you find yourself in this situation and an accident you have been involved in has caused injuries, you should contact an expert like the lawyers at Dye and Russell. They work quickly and diligently to ensure you receive the financial and physical compensation you deserve.

  1. Wipe off your vehicle.

Wiping snow off your vehicle reduces the likelihood of snow sliding off and obstructing the view of drivers behind you. Drivers who have been involved in an accident because of the #negligence of another person should speak with a lawyer immediately.

  1. Have a cellphone. 

In the event of an accident, having a cellphone will allow you to connect with help and emergency services (if needed). It also gives you the ability to connect with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following the accident. When you fast dial #1000 from your cellphone, you will be connected with our team at Dye and Russell Personal Injury Lawyers. Helping you from the start is part of the Dye and Russell experience.

By no means should a cellphone be used by the individual while driving; drivers should pull off to the side of the road before making a call.

  1. Adjust for the road conditions. 

No matter what tips you follow, adjust your driving to match the road conditions. It is your responsibility to be a safe driver and take the necessary precautions.

 

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, contact the experts at Dye and Russell Personal Injury Lawyers. Their team of professionals have years of experience in #personalinjury law and fighting for the compensation you deserve. Call and book your FREE consultation today at 1-877-883-6171 or fast dial #1000 on your cell phone.

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Hit and Run Accident: Why You Should Contact A Lawyer

A hit and run accident is an accident where one of the parties involved leaves the scene of the accident. Often the vehicle that leaves the scene is unidentified and has failed to exchange information with the other driver, however, this is not always the case. There are instances where the other vehicle has been successfully identified whether by someone at the scene or at a later date. Hit and run accidents can also involve pedestrians who have been struck by a vehicle that has then fled the scene.

Leaving the scene of a hit and run accident between vehicles is a criminal offence under the Highway Traffic Act – especially if an individual is injured because of the accident.

These types of accidents can have serious consequences. It becomes harder to determine liability and collect accident details when there is no one at the scene to be held accountable or question. Hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer right away will help ensure victims are fully compensated.

 

Accident Claims
Even if an individual is involved in a hit and run accident that results in injury and the other vehicle cannot be identified, our team of professionals will find you coverage through your own insurance policy. In Ontario, the standard policy of insurance, referred to as OAP 1, contains provisions that allow you to seek recourse through unidentified and/or uninsured conditions of your own insurance policy. An experienced lawyer at Dye and Russell can help explain these legal difficulties & help recover fair compensation for your injuries.
Persons injured as a pedestrian, even while lacking an OAP 1, are still eligible to receive compensation. The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVACF) is a provincial body, set by the Province of Ontario, to assist persons without insurance. It is through this fund that a person can obtain accident benefits. Connecting with a personal injury lawyer is the best way to ensure you receive fair compensation.

 

Working with a Personal Injury Lawyer
When you work with a personal injury lawyer from Dye and Russell, we’ll make sure you have access to certain types of benefits and provide the help you need to navigate the system of insurance. Often times people think because the vehicle or person responsible for the accident cannot be identified, they have no options.
Our lawyers have experience working with big insurance companies and know how to get you maximum coverage. It is our responsibility to help identify the opportunities of recourse available to you. For instance, your own insurance policy. Any dependents, such as a spouse or child, are able to seek legal remedy under that policy.

 

Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer
An expert lawyer from Dye and Russell can help you navigate the insurance system and help you get the fair and rightful compensation you deserve. They can assist with getting access to additional coverage under your policy and help you understand the legal side of your case.

 

If you or someone you know has been involved in a hit and run accident, call the professional lawyers at Dye and Russell today at 1-877-883-6171.

 

 

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8 things to do after a car accident

Driving, whether you’re slowly cruising down a local road or doing a long trek on the highway can be a dangerous. In 2016 alone there were 160,315 injuries from reported traffic collisions on Canadian roads. Chances are, at some point during your lifetime on the road you’ll be involved in a traffic collision.

When you’re in this situation it’s best to be prepared. The last thing you want to do is to be lost as to what to do next when involved in a traffic collision. Here’s what you need to know:

Keep calm

A car collision can bring a lot of emotions with it. Being calm and trying to stay calm throughout the next steps is vitally important to help you through the situation at hand. Whether you feel stressed, angry or scared (or something else entirely) it’s important to try and calm yourself down. Take a moment in your car to collect yourself, your thoughts and your emotions before taking any more action.

Prioritize safety

Avoid any further danger. Look for potential dangers—especially oncoming cars. If it is unsafe to get out of your car don’t venture out. Instead make sure to put on your hazard lights to notify other drivers.

Seek medical help

If you, or any passengers in your car are seriously injured call 911 for medial help.

Get their information

Collect as much information as you can. The key points you’ll need going forward are the personal details of the driver, or drivers, involved. They will likely ask for yours as well. Make sure you obtain all drivers’:

-full names

-phone numbers

-addresses

-license information

-insurance company names and policy numbers

Take photos

When collecting information, it’s best to go beyond just getting the necessary details from other people involved. Taking photos is an easy and fast way to collect evidence at the scene that can be very valuable later on. While taking photos after the traffic collision make sure that you have photos of any damage to your vehicle and the road, or property around the road, that happened as a result of the collision.

Look for witnesses

A traffic collision can draw the attention of onlookers. If there were people who saw the collision occur collect their personal information as well, including their full name and phone number, or other method of contact.

Contact your insurance company

Make sure to contact your insurance company to inform them about the collision.

Contact a personal injury lawyer

If you or someone in your vehicle has been injured during a traffic collision, it’s important to know your rights. The aftermath of a traffic collision injury can have a strong and lasting impact on your life. Contacting a personal injury lawyer after the accident is an important step on the road to recovery by connecting you with the legal, financial and personal support you need.

Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and we’ll get you the support you need.

 

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Easy ways to improve your driving

Even though you may be an experienced driver, over time you can pick up bad habits. Not only do bad habits put you at risk on the road but they also endanger those driving around you.

If you are looking to progress your driving there are some simple ways to get better that will help keep you safer behind the wheel. Here are some quick tips:

  1. Go back to basics

It’s nothing out of the ordinary to see drivers forgetting to execute the basics that you learn in driving school. But forgetting to do so is dangerous. Simple things, like entering the left lane of the street you’re turning on to when turning left at an intersection, signaling when changing lanes or when backing out of a parking spot, and coming to a full stop at stop signs, are key for your safety. Also, bad habits like driving when you’re in a rush, distracted or over-tired are all dangerous habits that can lead you to drive recklessly. Try to only drive when well rested, give yourself time to make the trip and put the phone away when you’re behind the wheel.

  1. Adjust your mirrors

Make sure your side mirrors are adjusted properly. While you can’t completely eliminate blind spots, and need to fully turn your head to check them before changing lanes or turning, having your mirrors adjusted optimally can greatly reduce them. To adjust your driver’s side mirror, move the mirror so you can barely see the edge of the vehicle in the mirror’s right-hand side when your head is against the left-side car window. To adjust the passenger side mirror, move it so that you can barely see the side of the vehicle in the left-side of the mirror when your head is just above the center console. This will give you much better view around your vehicle while driving.

  1. Learn high-beam protocol

High-beams are a key tool to help you see on poorly lit roads at night and extreme daytime weather, but they can also be blinding. Make sure to turn off your high-beams when approaching another vehicle to prevent other drivers from becoming blinded by your lights. If other drivers on the road fail to do this it’s recommended to look at the right side of the road and follow the painted edge line instead of looking directly at the lights.

  1. Make your left turns safer

When waiting to make a left turn point your wheels straight rather than to the left. If a car strikes yours from behind and your wheels are turned left you will be pushed into oncoming traffic. Stay safe by keeping them straight.

  1. Keep your eyes moving

Don’t go into auto-pilot with your eyes while driving. Make sure to be checking your mirrors, looking far ahead and at the vehicles around you. Some drivers have a tendency of focusing solely on the car in front of them which can make it harder to realize that you’re getting closer and closer to them.

  1. Keep your distance

While driving we can get in the habit of not leaving enough room between our car and the one in front of us. Time the distance between your car and the one in front of you by noticing when the car in front of you passes a marker on the road. When it does, time how long it takes for you to reach that same marker. A recommended time-distance to leave between your car and the car in front of you is 4 seconds which gives you enough reaction time in case the car in front of you suddenly breaks.

  1. Go back to class

Over time the rules of the road change. If it’s been a long time since you last took a driving course perhaps a driving refresher course would be good for you. Doing so can help keep you up to speed on changed driving rules as well as keep your driving skills sharp.

  1. Study your car

Get a deep understanding of your car’s features. Vehicles today are coming out with an increasing number of safety features on them, like rear-view cameras and lane departure warnings. Take time to research to learn their abilities and limitations so you don’t over rely on them but also take advantage of all your vehicle has to offer.

  1. Learn how to properly use a roundabout

The one thing that many experienced drivers are still daunted by is roundabouts. If you find roundabouts intimidating focus on learning how to use them properly. There is an online guide available from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

  1. Go to the optometrist

Having good eyesight is key for keeping your driving skills sharp. As you age eye problems can arise gradually, so they can be difficult to notice yourself. Getting your eyes checked regularly by an optometrist can help you catch any problems and allow you to have them addressed.

While you can be a very safe driver, sometimes accidents do happen. Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and we’ll get you the support you need.

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How to talk to elderly loved ones about unsafe driving

As we grow older how we feel about our ability to drive shifts. When you get your driver’s license for the first time you get a new sense of freedom and independence. As an adult the privilege of being behind the wheel is one many of us rely on. Also, as you age more and more your driver’s license becomes a valued symbol of self-sufficiency.

However, aging can come with a number of common physical changes that can make driving increasingly difficult and eventually dangerous.  Stiff joints and weaker muscles can make it harder to turn your head, brake in a safe manner, or turn the steering wheel quickly enough. Reduced quality of eyesight and hearing can become dangerous when it comes to taking in visual and auditory signals on the road. Also, slowed reflexes and side effects from medications can impact your driving ability.

If a loved one of yours is becoming an unsafe driver due to age, having a conversation with them about turning in their keys for good can be a difficult conversation to have. Following some of these tips might help make it smoother:

Avoid confrontational language

When initiating a conversation with an elderly loved one about their ability to drive it can be easy for them to feel like a calling-out of their deteriorating ability to drive is an attack rather than an expression of care and concern.  Make sure to emphasize your concern.  When deciding what you will say and how you will say it, structure your statements referencing yourself more than them.

Focus on safety

After a lifetime of driving to everything they love, feeling a push to give up driving can also feel like a push to give up everything else they love. Make it clear that the focus in getting them to stop driving is on safety, and that they can still continue doing the things they love.

Have alternatives prepared

Offering reliable alternatives instead of driving can make prospects of them giving up driving not as daunting. It’s possible that they may not be aware of what is available to them. Help them find more information if needed to start using alternative modes of transportation or, if possible, help by driving them.

Use specifics and multiple voices

You want your loved one to take this conversation seriously. Avoid sounding like one person nagging. If multiple people have concerns let them come together with you on this to show your elderly loved one that they have a group of people who care about them and are concerned about their safety. Also, when having the conversation voice generalizations less and offer specific examples instead.

Show empathy

This is likely a difficult conversation for your loved one to have or thing for them to hear. Make sure to approach the conversation with an empathetic view of how they may be feeling when facing these prospects. Be supportive, show respect and offer positivity.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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Car inspection basics: 21 parts you should be checking daily

With the new year here lots of people are working on their resolutions. A lot of people resolve to be better when it comes to their personal health—whether that’s eating healthier or exercising more, etc. But a new resolution that can be helpful for anyone’s health is to become safer.

Road safety is especially important. The safety measures you take on the road affect the health and safety of yourself, those in your vehicle and the public around you.

Being safe on the road starts with you. Also, as with any change in your life, these new resolutions require new habits. Thankfully, Road Safety at Work created a list of a number of things you can check in, on or around your vehicle every day. Many of them help to make sure that your vehicle is safe to drive before you even leave your driveway.

  1. Engine Oil

Checking your engine oil regularly is important to keep your motor properly lubricated. You should check your oil level daily and top up as necessary, checking your owner’s manual to make sure you’re using the right kind of oil.

  1. Tire Air Pressure

Take a walk around your vehicle. Check the air pressure on your tires looking to see that they’re all properly inflated, undamaged and wearing normally. This can keep your car in good condition and also prevent a dangerous surprise down the road.

  1. License Plate

While walking around your vehicle make sure that both your license plates are on, attached firmly and visible.

  1. Leak Check

Look underneath your vehicle to look for evidence of fluid either dripping from, pooling underneath or accumulating on your vehicle. Being mindful to look as you are driving in, or out, of regular parking spots to look for this fluid as well.

  1. In-car ergonomics

When you enter your car adjust your seat, headrest and steering column, if necessary, to be in an ideal driving position.

  1. Headlights

Check and make sure that your headlights are working properly. Turn on your low beams, high beams and fog lights to make sure they are all in good working order.

  1. Tail Lights

Checking your tail lights before you begin driving is important as well.

  1. Turn Signal

Turn on your left and right turn signals, making sure that the lights are working both in the front and back of your vehicle.

  1. Emergency Signal

Turn on your emergency signal and confirm that it is working properly.

  1. Windshield

In addition to checking your windshield for damage like chips and cracks, making sure your windshield is clean is important as well. Keep a clean cloth handy to clean the inside of your windshield.

  1. Wipers

Check your wiper blade controls to make sure they work. Confirm that your wipers are clearing your windshield and replace them when you see them leaving streaks or gaps.

  1. Heater/Defroster

In the winter and during changes in temperature heaters or defrosters play a key role in keeping your windshield clear and un-fogged. Test them before you take off to make sure the fan works well and that the flow direction is effective.

  1. Horn

Toot your horn to make sure it’s working.

  1. Seatbelt

Seatbelts are very important for your personal safety. Check to see that the seatbelt and its mechanisms are working properly.

  1. Rear vision mirrors

Upon entering your car make sure that that the rear vision mirrors are set for optimal rear vision. When they are angled ideally also make sure that they’re all undamaged and clean.

  1. Parking brake

Test your parking brake to make sure it is still functioning properly.

  1. Brakes

While leaving your garage and before entering traffic gently tap the brakes to confirm that they are working effectively.

  1. Instrument Panel – Gauges / Warning Lights

Looking at your instrument panel confirm that all the gauges indicate everything is in working order for a safe drive and that there are no warning lights on.

  1. Vehicle Documentation

Before leaving in your vehicle make sure you have the proper documents with you. Check for your driver’s license and make sure there is a copy of the vehicle registration on board.

  1. Engine Noises

Noises coming from your vehicle can indicate that something is wrong. While your engine is running listen for any unusual sounds.

  1. Roadside Emergency / First Aid Kit

A roadside emergency and first aid kit are very important for your health and safety on the road. Make sure that you’re prepared and that all the essentials are in both.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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A pedestrian’s safety guide

5 road safety tips to protect you while walking

The Ontario government has been introducing more laws to protect pedestrians while crossing roads. While this is good news for pedestrian safety, it shouldn’t give a false sense of security to you while walking or running outside. Pedestrian safety is everyone’s responsibility. It’s not just up to cyclists and drivers to keep an eye out for you. Making sure that you’re watching out for your own safety is vitally important while you’re out and about.

In order to protect yourself as a pedestrian on Ontario roads here are five tips from the Ministry of Transportation to use while going out on your next walk or run:

1. Don’t jaywalk

Jaywalking is very dangerous. It puts you at risk of becoming injured by an automobile and the drivers on the road at risk of an accident in the process of avoiding you. As a pedestrian, you should always cross at a designated crosswalks or traffic lights where it is indicated for you to cross. Crossing in the middle of a block or between parked cars is dangerous no matter how tempting it might be to save you time or inconvenience. It’s not worth the risk of injury.

2. Communicate with drivers

It doesn’t hurt to make sure drivers are aware of your presence as you’re crossing the street. If a driver is stopped at the road or intersection you are crossing make eye contact with them before stepping out on to the road. That way you can make sure that they have seen you and are aware that you are likely to enter the road in front of them.

3. Make yourself visible

Make it easier for drivers to spot you. Wearing bright, light and/or reflective clothing can make it easier for drivers to see you crossing the street. This is especially important at night or at dusk as it can be much more difficult for drivers to see you.

4. Know what to do

When you’re at a designated crosswalk, traffic light or intersection with stop signs make sure you know what to do. Only cross when traffic has come to a complete stop. If you’re at a traffic light make sure to follow your signals. If they are provided, only walk at the beginning of the green light or walk signal, and if you are still crossing while the light turns yellow or the do not walk signal appears complete your crossing safely. However, if you approach to cross the street when the light is yellow, the do not walk signal appears or the light is red do not cross.

5. Keep an eye out

While crossing it is important to be alert to turning cars. Even while walking or jogging down the sidewalk it’s important to remember this as cars turn into or out of driveways. It can be easy to become distracted while walking and crossing the street. Whether you’re glued to your cellphone, busy finding the perfect song to listen to on an iPod or lost in your own thoughts, it’s important to bring yourself back to attention in order to protect yourself while walking. When approaching a crossing, intersection or sidewalk with driveways, make sure you are aware and your eyes are up in order to protect yourself.

While you can be very cautious as a pedestrian, sometimes tragic accidents do happen.

Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and we’ll get you the support you need.

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5 ways to avoid drowsy driving

It’s shocking how many Ontarians are driving fatigued or drowsy. A study estimates that 27% of crashes resulting in fatality or injury are related to fatigued driving. Also, a public opinion poll found nearly 60% of Ontario drivers admit to driving fatigued sometimes at the very least and 14.5% have admitted to falling asleep or nodding off while driving in the past year.

Here are five key ways to avoid driving while drowsy and stay safe on the road from The Canada Safety Council:

1. Drive only when rested

Getting behind the wheel when you’re fatigued or drowsy puts others at risk. If you are going to be driving in the near future plan ahead for a good night’s rest. If you are fatigued and need to drive somewhere either sleep first, find a way to cancel or postpone the trip to another time when you’ll be alert, or get a rested person to drive instead.

2. Keep your mind alert

While you’re driving do things that help keep you alert. Listening to up-tempo music, talking to company in the vehicle, and chewing gum are all things that might work for you. Make sure to actively watch road signs and traffic and keep your head up and shoulders back while changing position frequently.

3. Find a safe place to stop

If you’re taking a long trip you should be especially be aware of your energy levels and whether you’re feeling fatigued or drowsy. Relying on coffee to keep you awake and not stopping can be dangerous. Every couple hours you should take a break from driving and pull off the road for some exercise and fresh air. If you are sleepy find a safe place to take a nap or spend the night at a hotel.

4. Be careful about what you eat and drink

Make sure to hydrate and eat high-protein snacks over heavy or fatty foods that will make you sleepy. If you are going to be driving you should avoid alcohol and medications that can that can cause fatigue or drowsiness. If you need to take medication talk with your doctor to find out how to lessen it’s effects on driving.

5. Drive defensively

While driving make sure to be prepared to prevent a collision if other drivers around you are drowsy. Driving defensively is important to protect yourself.

Drowsy driving is extremely dangerous.

Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and we’ll get you the support you need.

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