While crime is dropping and other measures of city life are improving, there’s one statistic that makes Calgary look like a wreck: car accidents are on the rise, and sharply, too.

According to at least one Calgary Police officer, inattentive or distracted drivers are behind the sudden rise in Calgary car accidents, which went from a total of 43,484 in 2012 to 45,391 in 2013 and finally to 47,244 during 2014. While part of the rising number of accidents can be attributed to more vehicles being on the road and a growing population in and around Calgary, Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey of the Calgary Police traffic section doesn’t think that tells the whole story.

“There’s millions and millions of trips a year being made in Calgary, you’re bound to have some touching here and there,” Stacey said. “Maybe 99% of them are pretty minor, but people are still bumping into each other because they’re not giving themselves space and aren’t paying attention—a lot of times they’re in a rush because they aren’t anticipating the volume slowdowns that occur.”

In other words, drivers in and around Calgary should be paying more attention due to the increased traffic on our roads and highways, but drivers’ attitudes when they encounter this traffic tend to make them less careful and attentive. Add in the modern distractions of cell phones and constant connectivity, and you have a recipe for a crash.

Stacey himself was involved in a car accident when another motorist was following too close behind him, and didn’t stop in time to respond to changes in traffic congestion. Like most car accidents in Calgary, Stacey’s was minor and didn’t lead to any serious injuries, and in fact the rate of accidents causing fatal injuries in Calgary has been dropping even as the rate of overall accidents has been rising—only 28 fatalities occurred as a result of traffic collisions in Calgary in 2014, compared to 38 in 2013. But accidents caused by inattentive driving can and do lead to major injuries and wrongful deaths—and such accidents are 100% preventable.

Calgary Police are responding to the statistics with an increased presence on Calgary’s roads and other efforts to increase enforcement of existing traffic laws, but they can’t prevent all accidents. Fortunately, Alberta’s laws are very clear when it comes to compensating injury victims who weren’t at fault for their auto accidents: if you have been injured, or if a family member has been killed or incapacitated, in an accident caused by an inattentive driver, you are entitled to compensation for medical costs, lost wages, diminished capacity, and pain and suffering.

Contact a Calgary Personal Injury lawyer for Your Car Accident Case

The lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie LLP, Calgary’s premier personal injury law firm, have decades of combined experience helping accident victims get the justice they deserve. For a free initial consultation to discuss the specifics of your case, contact their office today.