Distracted driving is a trend on the rise

Canada Safety Council

It’s a scene that is far too familiar on roads across Canada: a cell phone sounds an alert, the driver reaches for the phone, and in the short time it takes to read the screen, a collision has occurred.

Distracted driving is a trend on the rise, a dangerous and life-threatening behaviour that must be stopped. To mark this year’s National Safe Driving Week, the Canada Safety Council and the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC) share a crucial message: distraction behind the wheel is entirely preventable. Just don’t do it.

The Statistics

Distracted driving statistics are understated because distraction isn’t always easy to prove. In fatal accidents where distraction was a possible factor, there may not be evidence of phone usage or, sadly, a living witness to tell the story. This has resulted in a significant underreporting of the issue – still, the data currently available reveals staggering numbers.

According to Transport Canada, distraction was a contributing factor in 21 per cent of fatal collisions and 27 per cent of collisions resulting in serious injury in 2016. Comparatively, those numbers were reported at 16 and 22 per cent, respectively, in 2006.

The Canadian Council of Motor Transportation Administrators (CCMTA) provides further context to these numbers: 1.7 per cent of fatal collisions and 1.9 per cent of collisions resulting in serious injury involved electronic communication devices between 2010–14. While more recent statistics are not available, the prevalence of mobile devices in today’s society makes it a reasonable assumption that these numbers, too, are on the rise.

And if you’re fortunate enough to avoid injury or fatality, you’ll still be subject to fines and potentially demerit points depending on your province. Refer to this chart by the Canadian Automobile Association for a detailed breakdown.

To further compound the financial costs, your auto insurance premiums could sharply increase if you’re found to have been operating a vehicle while distracted.

“Insurance is all about risk, and distracted driving is an extremely risky behavior,” said Peter Braid, Chief Executive Officer of IBAC. “That’s why insurance brokers are partnering with the Canada Safety Council to raise awareness of the danger and encourage drivers to keep their eyes on the road. The stakes are high – death, injury, property damage, fines and rising insurance premiums. Whatever the distraction, it’s not worth the risk.”

 

text notification bubble with ellipsis looking like traffic light

The challenge

The challenge in addressing this issue is cognitive dissonance and, where distracted driving is concerned, willingly engaging in behaviours that are known to contribute to the likelihood of collisions. Studies in provinces across Canada have borne out the same result: a majority of drivers understand that distracted driving is dangerous and illegal; yet, the same respondents report using their devices behind the wheel anyway.

“Personal accountability is a major component of society’s role in reducing distracted driving deaths,” said Gareth Jones, president of the Canada Safety Council. “If you’re in the majority of road users who understand the risks, you owe it to your family and to fellow road users to put the phone away and otherwise minimize distractions.  It’s a choice that each of us has completely within our control.  Building a culture of safe driving happens one person and one decision at a time, so let’s choose well.”

 

Other types of distraction

While the topic of distracted driving is often discussed in the context of texting and calling behind the wheel, other forms of distraction exist and can also be harmful. Distracted driving is characterized as any action that removes your focus from the road. This can include eating, adjusting music, heat or GPS, applying makeup and interacting with passengers in the vehicle.

 

Tips to avoid distraction behind the wheel

  • Put your phone on silent or on Do Not Disturb mode. You won’t be tempted by an alert you don’t hear.
  • Even better, use an app or a built-in function that activates a Do Not Disturb feature automatically when connected to your vehicle’s Bluetooth or when increased speed is detected. See the enclosed tip sheet for examples.
  • Out of sight, out of mind – put your phone in a glove compartment, a zipped purse or knapsack, or even the back seat.
  • Make sure to leave enough time in your schedule to eat and groom before getting in the car.
  • Ensure that your temperature, music and GPS are set before you leave.
  • If it’s really that important, pull over.

Above all else, remember that driving is a potentially deadly task that requires your full attention. You wouldn’t take a call while operating a bulldozer; why do the same with a vehicle capable of going at much higher speeds?

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Honda Canada Drives CO2 Emissions Reduction with New Awareness Campaign

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Honda Canada Inc.

  • Industry-first environmental awareness campaign informs consumers of vehicle CO2 emission ratings for the company’s fleet
  • New campaign designed to offer product transparency and support informed purchase decisions
  • Honda Canada’s vehicle fleet had the best overall fuel economy in the industry and emitted less CO2 than the average among internal combustion engine manufacturers, according to the latest GHG report issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada for 2017.1

MARKHAM, ON, Jan. 6, 2020 /CNW/ – Today, Honda Canada launched a bold new environmental campaign entitled ‘Driven to Reduce Emissions Since 1948’, designed to help Canadian consumers reduce their personal carbon footprint.  A first of its kind, the awareness campaign posts government-verified vehicle CO2 emission ratings directly on Honda.cafor every model Honda sells in Canada.  Similar to food service providers listing caloric information offering product transparency, vehicle Emission Indicator badges display the grams per kilometre driven emission rating, supporting informed purchase decisions for consumers. The campaign also educates Canadians on Honda’s global philosophy and vision of reducing overall CO2 emissions from its products and all aspects of its business and manufacturing operations.

According to the latest Green House Gas (GHG) report issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada for 2017, Honda Canada’s vehicle fleet had the best overall fuel economy in the industry and emitted less CO2 than the average among internal combustion engine manufacturers.1

“Bringing CO2 emission information to consumers’ attention aligns with our belief that lowering emissions of vehicles on the road in Canada is the best way for us to help combat climate change,” said Dave Gardner, President and CEO of Honda Canada Inc. “Our customers can still choose to drive a Honda vehicle for all of the traditional benefits we bring to the market, such as dependability, quality and reliability, while now being aware of their impact on the environment.”

As society moves towards a more electrified future, the company aims to electrify two-thirds of its global auto sales by 2030. In order to achieve those targets, Honda is taking a measured approach to transitioning from producing mainly internal combustion engines to vehicles equipped with gasoline-hybrid powertrains.

More information on CO2, its relationship to vehicles sold in Canada and what Honda Canada is doing to educate and inform consumers can be found here.

Blue Skies for our Children
At Honda, caring for the environment started with a simple concept:  Blue Skies for our Children. It’s the company’s vision that future generations should experience the joy and freedom of mobility while living in a sustainable society.  Honda is working diligently to reduce all environmental impacts from its products and business activities.

For more information on Honda Canada’s environmental philosophy, please visit HondaCanada.ca.

1 – Environment & Climate Change Canada (published 2019). Greenhouse Gas Emissions Performance for the 2017 Model Year Light-Duty Vehicle Fleet. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/canadian-environmental-protection-act-registry/greenhouse-gas-emissions-performance-2017.html

About Honda Canada
Honda Canada Inc. (HCI) was founded in 1969 and is the parent company for both Honda and Acura vehicle brands in Canada.  The company has produced more than eight million cars and light trucks since 1986 at its two manufacturing facilities and builds engines at a third manufacturing plant in Alliston, Ontario.  Both manufacturing facilities are extremely flexible and currently build Honda Civic and CR-V models.  Honda Canada has invested more than $4.7 billionin Canada and each year it sources nearly $2.1 billion in goods and services from Canadian suppliers. Honda Canada has sold more than four million Honda and Acura passenger cars and light trucks in Canada. For more information on Honda Canada, please visit www.hondacanada.ca.

SOURCE Honda Canada Inc.

IBC to hire risk manager to assist condominium corporations

EDMONTON, Jan. 7, 2020 /CNW/ – To address issues that have arisen in the commercial insurance market, and especially in condominium insurance in Alberta, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) will be engaging an expert in risk management to assist those having trouble accessing affordable insurance.

IBC will make the risk manager available to assist condo corporations that are having trouble acquiring insurance. The risk manager will make practical recommendations that will reduce condo corporations’ risk and help improve the availability of insurance. For example, if a condo corporation can’t obtain insurance because of numerous water damage claims, the risk manager will identify that as the obstacle for the condo corporation and advise them on the maintenance required to reduce that risk.

While the commercial insurance market has been hardening globally, there are a number of condominium corporations in Alberta that are feeling the pressures more significantly than others. The IBC risk manager, to be hired early this year, will work closely with the insurance industry, the provincial government and condominium corporations to understand risks facing condos and how they can prioritize actions needed to access much-needed insurance.

“We recognize the seriousness of the issues facing a number of condominium corporations in Alberta, especially in Fort McMurray, and want to help all stakeholders find solutions,” said Celyeste Power, Vice-President, Western, IBC. “Insurance is all about understanding and pricing for risk. Engaging with a risk manager will help those who are having difficulty finding insurance to take steps that will help them get the insurance coverage they need.”

There are about 9,000 condominium corporations across Alberta, and recent media reports suggest at least a handful are having trouble accessing insurance or are seeing increased rates. Being better informed will help condominium boards to examine and respond to these concerns. The risk manager hired by IBC will be able to increase boards’ awareness about how insurers view risks and evaluate properties. The risk manager can also provide advice on how claims history, building materials and location can affect insurance rates.

“We understand this is an incredibly stressful situation for Albertans in the affected condos. We do not want to see any Albertan lose their home or have difficulty paying their bills. We are hopeful that this first step will help inform those affected and improve the situation,” Power added.

This is just one step of many that the insurance industry is taking to address this issue. IBC has brought together industry representatives and key stakeholders to take action and is also working closely with the provincial government.

“It is essential that all stakeholders work together to find common-sense solutions to relieve the pressure in the condominium market right now,” Power concluded.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 128,000 Canadians, pays $9.4 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @IBC_West or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

Backgrounder

How insurance for condominium corporations works

Tough market conditions have led to companies re-evaluating their risk appetite for writing new business and having more discipline in commercial underwriting. Many insurers across Canada, and in Alberta in particular, have seen more frequent and more severe weather losses, including losses as a result of the 2013 floods in Calgary, the 2016 wildfires in Fort McMurray and the 2019 fires in High Level.

  • 7 of Canada’s 11 most-costly insured disaster events have taken place in Alberta, and this has contributed to changes in the way companies underwrite risk and price premiums.
  • Several lines of insurance business are currently experiencing high losses. A hardening insurance market – a period where claims payouts have increased – makes insurers less inclined to write new business, making it more difficult for commercial consumers to obtain insurance.

Insurers look at a number of factors to assess risk and price premiums, including the following:

  • Type of construction and the materials used in the building’s construction, including whether materials are fire resistant, e.g., wood frame structures are considered higher risk.
  • Location of the condo, e.g., buildings located on flood plains pose a greater risk of water damage due to overland flooding, and in the northern parts of Alberta, water damage from burst pipes is more prevalent.
  • Multi-unit condos are prone to water damage through accidental overflowing of toilets and bathtubs, as well as burst pipes and supply line failures.
  • Claims history, such as repeated water damage claims or multiple other claims, will affect the availability and affordability of insurance coverage.

There are unique risks to consider when insuring condo corporations, including the following:

  • Difficult economic conditions have led to higher vacancy rates, which pose significant risks.
  • A unit occupied by tenants, as opposed to the unit owner, may not be maintained as adequately and repairs may not happen as quickly.
  • Higher tenancy rates can often lead to less oversight from the board of directors, which could lead to irregular maintenance or substandard repairs in the condo building.

What you can do now:

  • Talk to your insurance representative about what risk management strategies will help protect your condo. An efficient and effective maintenance program will help to mitigate many of the risks your condo corporation faces.

If you are a condo unit owner:

  • Ask your condo corporation about its maintenance strategy and what it is doing to mitigate risks.
  • Ask your condo corporation about the condo’s claims history and whether there are maintenance issues that need to be addressed.
  • If you have questions about insurance, call IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1‑844‑2ask‑IBC for more information.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

www.ibc.ca

HUB International Acquires British Columbia-Based RHC Insurance Brokers

NEWS PROVIDED BY

Hub International Limited

Hub International Limited (Hub), a leading global insurance brokerage, announced today that it has acquired RHC Insurance Brokers Ltd. and RHC Insurance Brokers (Cranbrook) Ltd. (RHC). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada with nine additional offices across the province, RHC is an independent insurance brokerage that provides personal and business insurance. Tammy Darough, CEO and CFO of RHC, will assist Hub International Insurance Brokers, a division of Hub International Canada West ULC (Hub Canada West), in an advisory role to ensure a seamless transition.

“RHC is an excellent addition to Hub,” said David Moon, President of Hub Canada West. “With RHC, we will continue to support long term growth throughout British Columbia and Western Canada. We are pleased to be able to meet the growing needs of both commercial and personal clients with our ever strengthening suite of insurance solutions and risk management services.”

“Hub has a stellar reputation in the industry, and I know our clients will benefit from Hub’s extensive platform,” added Ms. Darough. “We are dedicated to providing and maintaining a comprehensive, competitive and holistic insurance program.”

About Hub’s M&A Activities
Hub International Limited is committed to growing organically and through acquisitions to expand its geographic footprint and strengthen industry and product expertise. For more information on the Hub M&A experience, visit WeAreHub.com.

About Hub International
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Hub International Limited is a leading full-service global insurance broker providing property and casualty, life and health, employee benefits, investment and risk management products and services. With more than 11,000 employees in offices located throughout North America, Hub’s vast network of specialists provides peace of mind on what matters most by protecting clients through unrelenting advocacy and tailored insurance solutions. For more information, please visit www.hubinternational.com.

Tax Tip – We’re changing how representatives are authorized

NEWS PROVIDED BY

Canada Revenue Agency

We’re introducing new digital processes to simplify and speed up the way representatives request online authorizations.

Please note the upcoming changes to the Canada Revenue Agency’s authorization processes starting in February 2020:

  • We’re introducing a new e-authorization process for online access to individual tax accounts. Representatives will be able to request access using a web form through Represent a Client. Similar to the authorization process for business tax accounts, they will need to scan and submit a signature page that has been signed by their client.
  • The existing T1013 form will be discontinued for access to individual tax accounts. The T1013, RC59, and NR95 will be combined into one form called the AUT-01 Authorize a Representative for Access by Phone and Mail. This form will only be used to request offline access to individual and business tax accounts.

Note: All AUT-01s submitted to the  Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will be processed as new requests and override previous T1013 submissions. This means representatives will lose their online access if they submit an AUT-01 form (with the exception of non-residents, as there are no online services for non-residents).

  • If T1 or T2 software is used to e-submit a request for online access to individual and business tax accounts, a new signature page will be generated. This new page must be signed by the client and retained by the representative for six years.

Note: There is no requirement to submit a copy of this signature page, unless requested by the CRA.

  • We’re removing some restrictions for e-submitting an authorization using T1 or T2 software. For example, there won’t be an error message when a ‘care of’ address is used on a taxpayer’s account.
  • We’ll no longer be using barcodes for authorization requests.
  • Existing authorizations for individual tax accounts of deceased persons, will no longer be cancelled. This will avoid having to re-authorize the same representative after the client’s date of death.

These changes will take effect on February 10, 2020. Please continue to use the existing Representative authorization processes until this time.

Stay connected

SOURCE Canada Revenue Agency

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