Wednesday July 1st is Canada Day. Can you believe it?
Because of COVID, most people are uncertain what day of the week it is. Let alone month or date. When it comes to stat holidays? Forget about it! Every day feels like a Tuesday on repeat like some cruel real life edition of the cult comedy Ground Hog Day starring Bill Murray.
For most, Canada Day is full of fond memories like spending time at the cottage, lake, pool, BBQs or at family get togethers. It’s a time to decompress, enjoy the warm summer weather and kick back. It’s also a time where you get a day off work to relax.
This Canada Day will likely be a really weird one because of COVID.
For starters, mass gatherings like those at a community picnic, BBQ, concert or celebration like we see across the nation (particularly in Ottawa) either won’t be happening or will be happening much differently and on a much smaller scale. I don’t expect to see any sort of mass gatherings like we are accustom to seeing for Canada Day 2020.
But this doesn’t mean that people aren’t going to be out and about trying to get the most out of this celebratory day.
At Goldfinger Injury Lawyers, we normally see a spike in new client calls just after Canada Day.
You may wonder why that is. We have a few theories which we would like to share, so that you can get those most and safest experience out of Canada Day if you’re planning on being out and about and not isolating at home.
- There is a sense of urgency to get to your Canada Day Destination! Whether that destination is a cottage, a friend’s pool, a family member’s place who lives out of town, or just an urgency to get to the LBCO or Beer Store before it closes; it seems on Canada Day everyone has a place they need to go. And those people need to get to that place as quickly as possible. When you have increased volumes of traffic, travelling at increased speeds, with anxious drivers who “need” to get to their destination of choice now, now, now; you’re going to see not only a spike in car accidents, but also a spike in serious life threatening accidents. Everyone feels entitled to enjoy a nice and relaxing Canada Day. And you are entitle to do so. But, you are not entitled to enjoy that time while jeopardizing the safety and well being of others. Speed + Urgency + Sense of Entitlement on the Road= Recipe for Disaster
- Alcohol is involved in many Canada Day crashes. It’s no secret that people like to enjoy a few adult beverages on Canada Day. And it’s also no secret that despite our best efforts to eradicate drinking and driving; people still get behind the wheel after having a few too many beverages. Arrive alive. Don’t drink and drive. Think of other motorists and pedestrians whose lives you are putting at risk should you chose to drink and drive. Drinking and driving is always a choice. Nobody forces you to drink and then get behind the wheel of a car. You always have a choice. Chose responsibly. Drinking and driving is always the wrong call.
- Just because marijuana is legal doesn’t mean that it’s safe to get stoned out of your mind and drive. You can still be charged for operating a vehicle under the influence or unsafe operation of a motor vehicle, or a slew of other charges under the Highway Traffic Act if you are too high to drive irresponsibly. Driving took slow or too cautiously is also known to cause serious car accidents. People will get high over Canada Day and will chose to do drive when their judgment may be impaired. Much like drinking and driving, getting high and driving also puts your health, the health of your passengers, and the health and safety of others on the road at risk. It’s not illegal to get high. But it’s your conscious choice to get high and then drive. Making the responsible decision is never a bad call.
- Canada Day can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. Many people travel for Canada Day to meet up with friends and family. Road trip! More motorists on the road travelling at greater distances; often in parts of the country which they are unfamiliar with can create unsafe driving conditions. This increases the likelihood of accidents. Fewer people on the road = fewer collisions. Again, on Canada Day, it seems that everyone has somewhere which they need to be.
- Texting while driving has become a greater threat to motorists than drunk driving. We have seen a huge spike in texting or smart phone related accidents in the past few years. And it makes sense because everyone nowadays has a smartphone. You need it for everything. Problem is that smartphones take your attention away from the road and ask that you place that attention to its screen. When that happens, the driver is not paying attention to their surroundings while operating a motor vehicle which can be very dangerous and is against the law. Canada Day is no exception to this. Pay close attention to the road and not your phone. The text or email can wait. After all, it’s a statutory holiday. There shouldn’t be an expectation from the sender that the message will get replied to instantaneously on the statutory holiday. If it’s your boss on the other end, that message can certainly wait until you’ve arrived to your destination safely.
This will be a very weird Canada Day for most, if not all Canadians. We are used to gathering and celebrating the beauty of our great country. With limits on gatherings what will Canada Day 2020 look like? Will there be celebrations? Yes. Will they be the same as we’ve seen in the past? Likely not. How will you celebrate? Will it be the same as in years past or will it be different? Regardless of how you chose to celebrate, we all hope this temporary and Canadians from coast to coast will be able to get back to one big party in 2021.