The Roads to Safer Travels During Summer Long Weekends


Are you planning to travel this Labour Day long weekend? If you and your loved ones are planning a road trip this weekend, it’s important to remember that long weekends attract an influx of recreational drivers on the road and this increases the risk of getting injured or killed in a car accident.

In the days leading up to holiday long weekends, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) promotes road safety  by running advertisement campaigns. For many years, distracted driving has been the prevailing issue targeted by law enforcement during long weekends. This past Civic Holiday, however, OPP’s “Move Over” campaign was the targeted behaviour in anticipation of a busy long weekend on Ontario roads. This campaign wanted to get drivers to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles. This is a shift away from typical distracted driving campaigns.

Distracted driving should be a priority for police during long weekends, especially in light of our obsession with electronic devices and the increased number of drivers on the road. That being said, according to OPP’s 2018 annual report, distracted driving related-charges have consistently been decreasing since 2016, which could reveal a general change in driving behaviour recorded throughout the year[1]. What the report fails to identify, however, is whether the decline in this behaviour is observed over holiday long weekends.

A Canadian study found that roadways during long weekends are statistically more dangerous and deadly than regular weekends, but some of the behaviours targeted in long weekend police campaigns miss the mark entirely[2]. The study attributed the rise in fatal and injury related accidents over long weekends to the following factors: non-use of seatbelts, distracted driving, and driving in unfamiliar environments. The results also showed that variables like intoxication and speeding were not the main cause for car accidents over holiday long weekends.

The study’s findings suggest that law enforcement may want to reconsider how public campaigns should be conducted, and adopt a more balanced approached in targeting specific risky driving behaviours between holiday and regular weekends.

As many of you are excited to get on the road during the Labour Day weekend, we offer the following advice: buckle up, get off your phones and do not drive while you are impaired. On behalf of the lawyers and staff at Burn Tucker Lachaîne LLP, we wish you safe travels this upcoming Labour Day long weekend.  

 

[1] Ontario Provincial Police, “2018 Annual Report”

[2] Sabreena Anowar, et al., Comparison of crashes during public holidays and regular weekends (McGill University Department of Civil Engineering (2012).

By Burn Tucker Lachaîne LLP Personal Injury Lawyers on August 28, 2019
Tags: Car Accidents, Negligence, Personal Injury, Safety