ICBC urges drivers to watch for cyclists and share the roads this summer

Six cyclists are injured every day in the summer in B.C., so ICBC is urging drivers and cyclists to take extra care on our roads as we near Bike to Work Week (May 28 to June 3).

As ridership increases in the summer, so does the number of cyclist-related crashes. In B.C., 760 cyclists are injured and seven are killed in car crashes from June to September every year.*

“More crashes mean more deaths, injuries and claims, which is why we need to work together to make roads safer,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s acting vice-president responsible for road safety. “We sponsor Bike to Work Week as an opportunity to educate both drivers and cyclists. It’s part of our commitment to support road safety programs throughout the province. Whether you’re a driver or a cyclist, please do your part to drive smart.”

Tips for drivers:

  • As a driver, you see cyclists when you really look for them. Stay alert, especially at intersections, and be ready to yield the right-of-way.

  • Watch for cyclists on the road and make eye contact if you can, so they can anticipate your next move.

  • Shoulder check for cyclists before turning right and watch for oncoming cyclists before turning left. Scan for cyclists before you enter the roadway from an alley or get in and out of a parking spot.

  • Both drivers and passengers must shoulder check for cyclists before opening their vehicle door. Not only will it keep cyclists safe, it will help you avoid a dooring violation and fine too.

  • Maintain at least three seconds of following distance behind cyclists and at least one metre when passing a cyclist. Don’t risk side-swiping or running a cyclist off the road.

Tips for cyclists:
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals and follow the rules of the road.

  • Use designated bike routes whenever possible – they’re safer and reduce conflicts with vehicle traffic. Check your local municipality’s website for designated bike routes or visit TransLink.ca for maps of cycling routes in Metro Vancouver.

  • If there’s no bike lane, keep to the right-hand side of the road as much as it’s safe to do so. It’s illegal to ride on most sidewalks and crosswalks – it puts pedestrians in danger and drivers don’t expect cyclists to enter the roadway from a sidewalk.

  • Use caution around parked vehicles. Be aware of people in vehicles and taxis to avoid getting hit by an opening door. It’s best to keep at least one metre away from parked vehicles.

  • Before making any turns, shoulder check and hand signal in advance. Remember, drivers sometimes fail to yield right-of-way.

 
For more information about cycling, and videos about these tips, visit our cycling safety page on icbc.com.

Regional statistics*:

  • In the Lower Mainland, on average, 1,100 cyclists are injured and five killed every year.
  • On Vancouver Island, on average, 320 cyclists are injured and three killed every year.

  • In the Southern Interior, on average, 160 cyclists are injured and three killed every year.

  • In the North Central region, on average, 22 cyclists are injured from every year.

*Based on a five-year average using 2012 to 2016 police fatality data and 2013 to 2017 ICBC injury data.

Insurance report shows Alberta has highest increase in claims linked to distracted driving

 Colleen SchmidtSupervisor | CTV News Calgary

A report from a Canadian Insurance company says crashes tied to inattentiveness behind the wheel are increasing and Alberta has the highest number of distracted driving related accident claims in the country.

Aviva Canada collected data from its clients’ crashes between 2016 and 2018 and says Alberta showed a 58 percent increase in claims related to distracted driving, which is more than double the Canadian average of 23 percent.

“So we’ve seen a shocking statistic in Alberta,” said Phil Gibson, Chief Underwriting Officer, Aviva Insurance. “We took all the claims that are frequently associated with distracted driving, so rear end without skid marks that hit a stationary object, drifting across lanes and hitting something, failure to obey a stop sign, those types of things, and we’ve extrapolated that there is distracted driving going on within there.”

Gibson says 95 percent of Canadians say texting and driving by others makes them feel unsafe on the roads.

“That’s another terrible statistic. We should feel safe and certain and know that when we’re going down the road that other Canadians are looking out for each other,” he said.

Police say it takes more than enforcement to get the message across.

“People need to come to the realization that distracted driving causes all the damage, all the lives lost and all the hurt in society that impaired driving causes. The two equate to each other just like that and even though distracted driving is newer ,if you will ,than impaired driving it causes all the catastrophe that impaired driving does,”  said CPS Sgt. Dale Seddon.

Dean Lorenson started taking a bigger interest in distracted driving after he was involved in a crash.

“I think it was a Ford F-150, was just kind of rolling through and knocked me over,” he said.

Lorenson counts the number of distracted driving related tickets that are written by Calgary police and even involved his son’s Grade 3 class to help keep track.

The students counted 430 instances of distracted driving in a single month and Lorenson says people are making things worse by trying to hide the fact that they are looking at their phones while they drive.

“Actually that makes it worse because you’re really not paying attention. If your phone is up here, while you’re driving, you might be able to see but if you’re trying to hide it and looking down here, that just makes the problem worse,” he said.

Checking phones while driving or even when stopped at a traffic light is illegal and despite awareness campaigns, fines and do-not-disturb technology, it’s a behaviour that has proven challenging to change.

“I don’t think it’s going to take more laws or even technology. I think we can start influencing each other when we think about what an awesome responsibility it is driving a car and keeping each other safe to just stop allowing yourself to be distracted,” said Gibson.

The insurance company suggests planning ahead, prepping podcasts and playlists or locking away your phone.

Texters who distract drivers could be held liable in accidents: insurance expert

By Peter Rakobowchuk

THE CANADIAN PRESS

MONTREAL _ An insurance and legal expert says texters could be held liable for any damages if they message someone they know is driving and that person has an accident.

“There’s an increasing public safety issue of operators of vehicles who are distracted while driving,” lawyer Jordan Solway said in a recent interview.

“And if you contribute in the same way as if you’re in the vehicle, and you interfere with their driving of the vehicle, you could be held responsible for that injured third party.”

Solway, vice-president of claim at Travelers Canada, pointed to a New Jersey court ruling from 2013 that said the sender of a text who causes a driver to become distracted and have an accident may be held liable.

The case involved an 18-year-old driver’s girlfriend who texted him about 25 seconds before his pickup truck crossed a median and seriously injured a motorcyclist and his wife. Both bikers lost their left legs as a result of the 2009 accident.

Solway said there have been no similar cases in Canada yet, but he believes it’s just a matter of time.

He compares it to what happens when a bar owner or the host of a party has to take responsibility for someone who is drinking, becomes intoxicated and gets into a vehicle.

“It’s analogous you’re putting someone in a position where they could cause harm to themselves or a third party,” Solway said.

Travelers Canada also commissioned a recent online survey that delved into what may be distracting drivers.

The No. 1 reason may not be surprising.

Thirty-one per cent said it was because they have family obligations that require constant attention. By gender, 40 per cent of females gave that reason, while it was 23 per cent among males.

In Quebec, 23 per cent cited family obligations, while in Ontario the figure was 41 per cent.

When it came to other reasons, 27 per cent said they didn’t want to miss something important, another 14 per cent said they always wanted to be available for work and eight per cent said they were afraid of upsetting the boss if they didn“t answer.

“I think it’s a (consequence) unfortunately of living in a highly connected world where, if someone doesn’t respond immediately to an email or a text, your concern is they are ignoring you,” Solway noted.

The Harris Poll was conducted March 9-12 and involved 948 Canadian drivers aged 18 and over.

An Insurance Bureau of Canada spokesman says companies must implement policies to discourage drivers from texting _ and individuals who may be texting them _ while they are on the road.

“The aspect of determining liability or fault in cases lke that would rest with the courts,” Pete Karageorgos said in an interview.

“It has to be a whole host of instances in terms of not just the act of texting, but also the act of reading the text or responding or having that phone in your hand.”

He said some insurers are seeing more instances of rear-end-type collisions which typically happen when the driver in the back isn’t paying attention.

“It’s a concern that we share as an industry because that will impact premiums,” Karageorgos added.

But Quebec’s automobile insurance board provided some encouraging statistics involving drivers who violated the law, which prohibits the use of a hand-held device while driving.

The highest number was in 2013 when there were close to 68,000 infractions, including 19,000 that involved drivers between the ages of 25 and 34.

But in 2016, the overall total dropped to 46,369. For the 25-34 age group, it decreased to just more than 14,000

The lowest number was in 2008 when there were about 18,250 violations.

5 phrases & terms to understand on your auto insurance policy

You know if you have a car, you need insurance. But do you know what is in your auto insurance policy that protects you?

“It may look like a lot of legal jargon, but there are several key points in your auto insurance policy you should go over with your agent and understand,” said Jon Bloom, vice president of personal auto, Erie Insurance.

Understanding your auto insurance policy doesn’t have to be complicated, but Erie Insurance points out a few terms that you should look for in all that paperwork.

  1. What’s your “policy period” – A policy period is when your insurance policy coverage begins and ends. A policy period can range. Some companies offer six month policies, other’s offer coverage for a year at a time.
  2. Limits and coverages – Limits and coverages tell you the types and amounts of coverage available. On an auto insurance policy, it would cover things such as bodily injury and property damage liability.
  3. Annual Premiums – This will show you the cost for your auto insurance.
  4. Collision vs Comprehensive –   Comprehensive insurance provides financial protection for your car from loss to due to fire or theft. While collision insurance protects you from things like hitting a car or backing into a pole.
  5. Underinsured vs. Uninsured – Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (optional in some states) is for your protection. Uninsured motorist coverage applies for injuries resulting from an accident with a hit and run driver, or a driver who does not have auto liability insurance.  Underinsured motorist insurance is for an accident with another driver who doesn’t have enough auto liability insurance coverage to cover the entire cost of your injury claim.

Check out the infographic, provided by Erie Insurance, for more about these important terms and phrases. Your agent can advise you on your options and help you better understand common insurance terms and phrases, this can help when determining the coverage that is right for your needs.

Contact a local Erie Insurance agent to learn more or to get an auto insurance quote today.

About Erie Insurance
According to A.M. Best Company, Erie Insurance Group, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, is the 10th largest homeowners insurer and 12th largest automobile insurer in the United States based on direct premiums written and the 15th largest property/casualty insurer in the United States based on total lines net premium written. The Group, rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company, has more than 5 million policies in force and operates in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Erie Insurance Group is a FORTUNE 500 company.

News releases and more information about Erie Insurance Group are available at www.erieinsurance.com.

 

SOURCE Erie Insurance

ICBC and police launch high-risk driving campaign

ICBC and police launch high-risk driving campaign

High-risk driving behaviours, like speeding, increase your chances of crashing. In 2016 alone, there were 330,000 crashes in B.C. – that’s 900 crashes per day. And the number of crashes and claims have been growing steadily over the years.

On top of that, the costs of those claims are ballooning and injury claims costs alone are now close to $3 billion a year.

These numbers are not sustainable. One way ICBC, police and the B.C. government are tackling the issue is through ongoing road safety. May 1 marks the launch of a month-long campaign urging drivers to slow down.

Police will be targeting speeders during the month of May, including a province-wide enforcement blitz on May 19.

ICBC will be working with Speed Watch volunteers, who will also be set up in B.C. communities to encourage drivers to slow down.

The campaign also includes radio advertising and social media.

High-risk driving behaviours, like speeding, distracted driving and running red lights, are a concern for all demographics of drivers. Everyone has a part to play in keeping our roads safe—if we want everyone else to drive smart, we first need to start with ourselves.

Learn interesting facts, get tips and more on icbc.com.

Quotes:

Chief Officer Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee

“Speeding, failing to yield and unsafe lane changes are high-risk driving behaviours that put everyone at risk. Drivers have to be responsible for their actions, pay attention and focus on driving. Police will be out in full-force across the province this month looking for drivers who feel the rules don’t apply to them.”

Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s acting vice-president responsible for road safety

“We’re at a point today where the number of crashes across our province, and the number of claims we’re receiving, are growing by the thousands every year. We can all do our part by slowing down to make roads safer and save lives.”

Regional statistics*:

  • On average, 43 people are killed every year in the Lower Mainland from crashes involving high-risk driving.*

  • On average, 16 people are killed every year on Vancouver Island from crashes involving high-risk driving.*

  • On average, 42 people are killed every year in the Southern Interior from crashes involving high-risk driving.*

  • On average, 23 people are killed every year in North Central B.C. from crashes involving high-risk driving.*

* Averages based on police-reported data from 2012 to 2016.

High-risk driving includes speeding, failing to yield right of way, following too closely, ignoring a traffic control device and improper passing.

CAA named most trusted brand in Canada

The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) is the most trusted brand in Canada, according to the fourth annual Gustavson Brand Trust Index released today.

“This is truly a testament to the dedication of our network of CAA associates in Clubs across the country, who serve our more than 6.3 million Members,” said Jeff Walker, CAA National’s Chief Strategy Officer.

Conducted by the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria, the fourth annual Gustavson Brand Trust Index asked more than 6,300 consumers to score 299 prominent Canadian companies and brands, across 26 industry sectors, on a range of brand value measures.

“CAA is proud of our industry-leading services, including insurance, travel, Member rewards, and of course emergency roadside assistance,” Walker said. “For over 100 years we’ve been focused on serving our Members’ needs, and we’re proud of this acknowledgement that recognizes the work we do.”

CAA moved up from second in last year’s ratings. CAA also finished first in the insurance sub-category of this year’s Index.

About CAA

CAA is a federation of eight Clubs providing over six million Members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection.

SOURCE Canadian Automobile Association

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