Before Rob Ford encountered questions about smoking crack cocaine, making himself good fodder for late-night TV jokes, he crashed into a news camera.


I don’t know if you missed this one, but it happened last April, and was a good enough to make it into the Jimmy Kimmel show. Which got me thinking- every now and then we all crash into things, right? I mean some of those things could be couches, doors (especially those fancy glass ones) or sometimes, and unfortunately so, other cars. Maybe it’s our fault, maybe it’s not, but I thought it would be important to mention, in honour of our late night hosts, a top-ten list devoted to avoiding crashes. Some of these are more scientific, some less so, but most are pretty obvious:

10. Do not drive under the influence. That means no drinking, no drugs (Mr. Ford), and no phones either.  In fact, recent studies have shown that texting while driving can be more dangerous than driving while drunk. Many of us would never drink and drive; let us make sure we don’t text and drive either.

9. Check your car. Going to the mechanic may be as pleasant as going to the dentist, but it is important that your car’s function is running smoothly, especially the tire pressure and brakes. So whether or not you do it yourself, make sure that car you’re driving is something you can trust your life with.

8. Don’t speed. No matter where you’re going, speed kills. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) puts it simply: “Speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crashes. The economic cost to society of speeding-related crashes is estimated by NHTSA to be $40.4 billion per year. In 2008, speeding was a contributing factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes, and 11,674 lives were lost in speeding-related crashes” [source: NHTSA].

7. Wear your seatbelt. ‘Nuff said.

6. Don’t tailgate. Your self-proclaimed adage should be: absence makes the heart grow fonder.

5. Be mindful of the weather. Drive extra slowly, keep a greater space between cars, and if you do happen to exit off the road, turn off your lights. Other drivers might follow the lights and end up right behind you.

4. Drive in a familiar area. But if you don’t, prepare. Print out a map even if you have GPS. And if you don’t prepare, stay in the centre lane when possible and avoid unlit roads.

3. Let other drivers know your intentions. That being said, don’t trust anyone else on the road- just assume they are idiots. But as far as your own driving, use your signals! After all, you don’t want to be the idiot that didn’t signal.

2. DDWD. Don’t drive while drowsy. If you didn’t get a good enough sleep the night before, be it because of small children, angry spouses, or late-night TV, consider other modes of transportation.  Researchers at Virginia Tech have found that over 20% of accidents are a result of sleepiness.

1. Know your blind spots. Mirrors can only help you so much. To avoid a collision while changing lanes, check your mirrors, but also do a quick head turn to make sure no one is there.

Be prepared. Keep a flashlight, a first-aid kit, and a gallon of gas in your car. You might as well keep some cash handy so that if all else fails, you could always cab it. And In any case, however attractive it might seem in a glum situation, stay off the cocaine.

These should help, but if you still find yourself in a motor vehicle accident, call the law firm of Begel, Magence at 416-665-2000. They will give you the attention you deserve.