Personal Injury Lawyers 
Toronto, ON

Study Finds Toronto Has the Worst Traffic in Canada

Downtown Toronto city skyline at twilight in Ontario, Canada.

How congestion can increase the risk of a car accident

Anyone who has driven on the Gardiner Expressway or through downtown Toronto during rush hour has noticed how bad traffic can get. But just how bad is it?

According to a new study, Toronto ranks first for traffic congestion in Canada and is the 17th most congested city in the world. The average driver in the city wasted 63 hours stuck in traffic last year.

The 2023 INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard notes that traffic congestion can be a sign of a strong economy.

“The movement of people, goods and services creates demand for road travel, but when demand exceeds the supply of road space, it results in congestion,” it stated.

However, this congestion can result in lost time and productivity. Worse, it increases the risk of car accidents.

The link between congestion and crashes

Traffic congestion can lead to car accidents in several ways, including:

  • Stop-and-go traffic: Frequent stopping and starting can increase the likelihood of rear-end collisions as drivers may not always be able to react in time to sudden stops.
  • Driver frustration and aggression: Traffic jams can lead to frustration, impatience, and aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating, abrupt lane changes, and speeding when there is an opportunity, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Distractions: In heavy traffic, drivers may become distracted, looking at their phones, adjusting controls, or engaging in other activities, leading to inattentiveness and higher chances of collisions.
  • Reduced gaps between vehicles: Congested traffic often means vehicles are closer together, reducing the margin for error and increasing the likelihood of collisions if one driver makes a sudden move.
  • Increased fatigue and stress: Prolonged periods in traffic can lead to driver fatigue and stress, impairing reaction times and decision-making abilities.
  • Impaired judgment: Drivers may take risks they normally wouldn't, such as running yellow lights, speeding up to merge, or making sudden lane changes to avoid congestion, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
  • Unpredictable behaviour: In congested traffic, the behaviour of other drivers can be unpredictable, leading to sudden stops, lane changes, or maneuvers that can catch other drivers off guard.
  • Pedestrian and cyclist interactions: Congested areas often have higher pedestrian and cyclist activity, increasing the potential for accidents involving these vulnerable road users.
  • Visibility issues: Heavy traffic can obstruct visibility, making it harder to see traffic signals, signs, or sudden changes in traffic flow, increasing the risk of accidents.

You may also face delays in receiving financial compensation.

If a negligent driver caused an accident that left you hurt, you deserve compensation for the damages you suffered. This includes compensation for medical expenses to treat your injuries, lost wages if you couldn’t work, and other damages such as pain and suffering.

But you are likely to face roadblocks. Negligent drivers often deny doing anything wrong. Insurance companies may question the seriousness of your injuries or argue that you were to blame for what happened. They may offer you a settlement that falls far short of covering all of the damages you suffered.

That’s why you need an experienced Toronto car accident lawyer to fight for you. At Smitiuch Injury Law, we know how to build strong cases. We fight back against insurance company attempts to pay you less and are committed to helping you get the compensation you deserve, either through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.

If you were hurt in a car accident on a congested road in the Greater Toronto Area, contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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