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Legal,  Personal Injury Law

Large vehicles make our roads less safe

Ontario’s highways are filled with large vehicles, from hulking pick-ups to sleek, family-friendly SUVs. Consumers are attracted to these vehicles because they’re tough – they excel in Canadian winters and keep families safe.

But what about families in other vehicles? What about the occupants of thousands of smaller cars that share the road with bulky Dodge Rams and GMC Yukons? As Ontario car accident lawyers have come to understand, large vehicles make Ontario’s road less safe, even as they protect their occupants.

In a 2015 article for the National Post, columnist Tristan Hopper cited several studies that confirmed the danger large vehicles pose to other drivers. According to researchers at the University of Buffalo, for example, in collisions between SUVs and smaller vehicles, the driver of the smaller vehicle is four times more likely to be killed than the driver of the SUV.

A team of Montreal scientists scoured data on millions of Canadian crashes and found that SUV drivers were 224 per cent more likely to cause a fatal accident than drivers of smaller vehicles.

And at the University of California, San Diego, researchers estimate that for every life saved by driving a large vehicle, 4.3 pedestrians, motorcyclists, and car drivers are killed.

Large vehicles are safer for a number of reasons: their height means occupants are elevated above collisions; their stiff frames make them less likely to succumb to external pressure; and perhaps most importantly, they are much heavier than station wagons and sedans.

However, these factors are also what makes large vehicles so dangerous to other drivers. According to the same National Post article: “for every 450 kilograms added to the weight of a car (roughly the difference between a Toyota Prius and a Ford Taurus), a vehicle becomes 40 per cent more likely to turn an otherwise survivable crash into a fatal collision.”

Ontario car accident lawyers don’t believe that SUVs and pick-ups should be banned from the province’s roads, of course. Large vehicles are critical tools on work sites and ideal for accommodating large families. But as Ontario’s population grows and our streets become more crowded, large vehicle operators must be aware of the danger they pose and take steps to ensure the safety of those around them.

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Layers today to set-up a free, no-obligation consultation. Our team of experienced Ontario car accident lawyers can assess the viability of your claim and help you access compensation for your injuries.

Greg Neinstein

Greg Neinstein

Greg Neinstein, B.A. LLB., is the Managing Partner at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers LLP. His practice focuses on serious injury and complex insurance claims, including motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall injuries, long-term disability claims and insurance claims. Greg has extensive mediation and trial experience and has a reputation among his colleagues as a skillful negotiator.
Greg Neinstein

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