A massive ice storm has turned roads and drive-ways into skating rinks and has downed trees and branches across Ontario. Driving through Bowmanville I saw trees literally split in half, and some tied together with heavy rope to prevent them from falling. In Oshawa and Whitby, a considerable number of car accidents and slip and falls have been reported. The OPP responded to over 1,000 car accidents this past Saturday night alone and five deaths are reported in accidents as well.
As a car accident lawyer, I have spoken with a number of people who were injured in car accidents due to another vehicle that failed to properly exercise caution in these Canadian winter conditions. Many are driving too fast, failing to respect the rules of the road at intersections where the traffic lights are not working, and are not leaving enough distance between themselves and the vehicles around them. Others are driving on bare tires in these conditions, which is simply asking for your car to go out of control. There has been a renewed debate on the radio about whether drivers in Ontario should be required to have snow tires on their vehicles. Currently, Ontario drivers are not required to do so, but Quebec drivers are. Regardless of whether it is formally required, every driver has to exercise common sense before going out on the roads – if you have old tires and no ABS, then you don’t go out driving in slippery and snowy conditions. It’s about reasonableness.
Also, I have heard of a number of slip and fall accidents on properties where maintenance had not been done to deal with the snow and ice on the premises. I am hearing a consistent theme of “the maintenance guy was away on holidays” and no replacement was secured or protocol was not followed. This led to overly slippery and icy/snowy conditions that caused slip and fall accidents to occur.
The wintery weather is unfortunately bringing with it some very real and serious injuries that others have to deal with. This is unfortunate, but to simply say “it’s not my fault – it’s the weather” – is no excuse. We live in Canada, and drivers and maintenance people must exercise due diligence and reasonableness to prevent injury. As a personal injury lawyer in Whitby and Oshawa Ontario, I work hard to try to obtain fair and balanced compensation for victims of injury in Ontario.