Have you Ever Wondered Why Car Accident Clean up Can Close the Highway?


OPP have asked for our patience in cases where car accidents close highways. In most parts of southern Ontario, a close road isn’t a big deal. There are ample places for detours and the police will turn traffic around or divert it when necessary if closures occur.

In northern Ontario, it’s a different story though. There are far fewer roads and highways, and road closure can mean detours of 1000 km at times. For example, when the bridge in Nipigon failed and was closed for a couple of weeks the Trans-Canada Highway was impassable and cars and trucks were forced on the 1000 km detour.

So why does accident clean-up take so long? Regardless of where the accident occurs, it takes time for emergency vehicles to arrive and for tow trucks to safely hook up and tow away disabled vehicles. If there is toxic waste released it must be cleaned up. If livestock is released on the roads they can take a while to herd and reload, and euthanize. If there is significant damage to the median, the road surface or bridges that also adds to the delay.  In northern Ontario, logistics mean that emergency vehicles, experts and tow trucks may be coming from 50 km or more away and this adds time. Sometimes it adds hours.

When there are fatalities, the police must reconstruct the accident after the immediate emergency is dealt with to determine all the facts. Depending on the scale of the accident, location and time of day this can mean the road has to stay closed for hours. Police only have one chance to get the facts straight. There is much more involved than simply taking pictures. Police must take measurements, look for evidence, take pictures, and gather statements. If there are multiple vehicles, guard rails and road cut damage, skid marks to find and record, and drone footage to take this process can take up to 6 hours. 

North East OPP have reported that they have already closed highways 57 times this year which is double the number from last year.

Accidents on our highways are due primarily to speeding, impaired driving and distracted driving. Municipal and Provincial police all ask that drivers slow down, drive sober and pay attention to the road. It may be your own life you save.

The next time you are stopped in a road closure please be patient and know that the police and the emergency responders are working

hard to save lives, understand the exact causes of the accident and to re-open the roads as soon as they can safely do so.

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident then it is extremely important to contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers at Deutschmann Law to make sure your future is secured. You don’t have to face the police and insurance companies alone. We will help you from injury through to recovery and get you the best treatment and settlement possible.

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