ontario traffic laws

Sherry’s Top 5 Traffic Headaches

As the wife of a personal injury lawyer, I see the world in a different light.

Because of Derek’s practice, our family probably think about safety more than the average family. Every time I see someone on their phone while driving or standing in the middle of the street waiting for the next lane to clear, I wonder if that person will feature in tomorrow night’s dinner table conversation.

That’s why I talked Derek into letting me publish this post on his site. I may not be a lawyer, but I’m a professional, a mother, a commuter and, probably like you, I see things every day that either drive me crazy or scare the heck out of me!

These the are the top five things on the road that, as a normal non-lawyer person, make me shake my head:

  1. People who don’t pull over for ambulance or police sirens

It actually got to the point where, one night, I had to double check with Derek that pulling over to the side of the road was still the law. IT IS. So why do people wait till the last possible moment or, rather than stopping altogether, do a slow drive on the side?

That could be one of my children in that ambulance, or one of yours. The law says we must pull over, so just pull over already!

  1. Cyclists who follow a hybrid of driving rules and pedestrian rules to suit their needs

Real Talk: If you’re a on bike, you must stop at stop signs. You must make turn signals when it’s time to change directions, and you must wait your turn. If you don’t want to obey traffic rules on your bike, then get off your bike and walk.

Also, unless your bike still has training wheels and you’re riding beside your parents, you shouldn’t be riding on the sidewalks. (As a parent, the idea of my little boys riding their bikes on the road always makes me nervous. That’s why Derek I invest in those street smart bike courses that the city offers in summertime. I don’t think I will ever stop worrying about them, but it helps.)

  1. Put. Down. The Phone.

I seriously saw someone riding their bike down a busy street while talking on their cell phoneWhy?!!

I shake my head at this. Your chances of being hit by that driver who’s on THEIR phone is so much higher. Derek does good work, but obviously you don’t want to be in his office if you don’t have to be. Drivers and cyclists: Please put down your phones.

  1. Watch for blow-throughs

A good friend of mine was hit by someone who blew through a red light. Before that happened, I had never really looked around when the light turned green; I would just go. But now I consciously wait for the car beside me to advance and enter the intersection first. This gives me extra time to check that everyone is really stopped. When my boys start driving, that’s a lesson I will teach them.

  1. Snow? Slow down. Rain? Slow down.

Do you really need to be going 120km in the middle of a snowstorm? You endanger your life. You endanger my life. When it comes to snow and rain, slow and steady wins the race and you always need to drive defensively. If you don’t know how, learn. 

  1. Tailgating. And not the good kind.

We all know people who drive WAY too close to other cars.

My mother and my best friend are notorious for this, and it scares the bejeepers out of me. I hear so many stories about this from Derek every single week; it’s dangerous! There is a reason we are supposed to be a minimum of two chevrons away. If you can’t see the back tires of the car in front of you, then you are way too close and it’s time to tell your mother to make some space 😉


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