Personal Injury Lawyers 
Toronto, ON

OPP: Highway Accident Fatalities Highest in 15 Years

An aerial view of a busy highway interchange in Toronto. The scene shows multiple roads and ramps intersecting, with a steady flow of vehicles, including cars and trucks.

Driving on the highway can be dangerous. At any given time, hundreds of vehicles can be traveling at high speeds. Many drivers are irresponsible, and car accidents are common. Sadly, these accidents can leave victims with fatal injuries—and in Ontario, the problem seems to be getting worse.

Ontario highway accident statistics

According to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), 411 people were killed in highway accidents in the province last year – that makes 2023 the deadliest in more than 15 years.

A spokesperson said the reasons for the increase in deaths are preventable.

“Aggressive driving, impaired driving, distracted driving and not wearing your proper safety equipment — it’s so critically important that we understand the rules of the road and we share the road safely, responsibly and understand the consequences for making a bad decision can be deadly,” said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, spokesperson for the OPP’s Highway Safety Division.

Negligent drivers cause highway collisions

Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and responsibly. However, too many drivers don’t take this duty seriously. A negligent drivers can cause an accident in a number of ways, including:

Aggressive Driving: This includes speeding, rapid lane changes, tailgating, and running red lights. Aggressive drivers have less time to react to traffic changes or hazards on the road, and their unpredictable actions can catch other drivers off guard, leading to collisions. The high speeds can also turn minor incidents into severe crashes, potentially causing significant injuries and property damage.

Impaired Driving: Driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even certain prescription medications can severely impair a driver’s judgment, reaction times, and overall ability to operate a vehicle safely. Impaired drivers may experience decreased awareness of their surroundings, impaired vision, delayed reaction times, and poor decision-making skills. On highways, where safe driving requires constant vigilance and quick responses, impairment can easily lead to disastrous consequences, such as wrong-way driving or the inability to adjust speed appropriately, resulting in high-speed collisions.

Distracted Driving: This refers to any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on the phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in the vehicle, or adjusting the radio, entertainment, or navigation system. Highways require a driver’s full attention due to the high speeds and the need for frequent situational adjustments. When drivers are distracted, even for a few seconds, they may fail to notice slowing traffic, an abrupt lane change, or other critical cues that require immediate action to avoid a crash.

If you’ve been injured, call an experienced Toronto car accident lawyer

When there’s a crash, it should be easy for victims to recover financial compensation. However, they often face many challenges and obstacles. Negligent drivers deny doing anything wrong. Insurance companies minimize claims to try to pay victims as little as possible. Many victims and their families aren’t sure what to do next.

That’s why you need an experienced lawyer on your side. At Smitiuch Injury Law, we’ve been fighting for the rights of accident victims since 2001. We’ve handled cases involving crashes on all highways in the area, including Queen Elizabeth Way, Ontario Highway 404, Ontario Highway 427, Gardiner Expressway, Ontario Highway 27, Don Valley Parkway, Ontario Highway 401, Allen Road, and Ontario Highway 2.

If you or a family member were seriously injured in a highway accident in the Greater Toronto Area, learn more about how we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

“My wife and I were referred to Smitiuch by a friend. We were looking for someone to help us after a serious car accident. The insurance company was being very difficult. Calling Smitiuch was the best decision we could have made. Their service, expertise and experience exceeded our expectations on every level.” – Former client.

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