Mall parking lot crashes peak in December; ICBC provides Drive Smart tips for holiday shopping season

Source: ICBC:

As the holiday shopping season officially kicks off this week for Black Friday, ICBC is asking drivers to prioritize safety over finding the perfect parking spot. About 150,000 crashes happened in parking lots last year resulting in 5,400 injuries*.

While most parking lot crashes happen at low speeds and only result in vehicle damage, dealing with the aftermath of a crash is the quickest way to turn anyone into a Grinch. ICBC receives hundreds of thousands of vehicle damage claims every year, with costs exceeding $1.5 billion.

Based on a sample of mall parking lots in B.C.***:

  • An average of 200 crashes occurred at mall parking lots in 2017.
  • Most crashes occur in December.
  • Most crashes occur between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Most crashes occur on a Friday or Saturday.

Although some mistakenly believe that driving in parking lots is ‘safer’ due to lower travel speeds, drivers need to continue practicing their safe driving habits, even while travelling in parking lots. Parking lots present drivers with unique challenges such as increased congestion and heavy pedestrian activity. The holiday season could add a layer of distraction with people more apt to be preoccupied with their shopping list or finding a parking spot.

Drivers are encouraged to apply a bit of holiday cheer, be courteous and have a bit more patience during this time of year with these Drive Smart tips from ICBC:

The rules of the road still apply, even on private property: Drivers should know that the law still applies, even in mall parking lots. Avoid cutting diagonally through a lot – travel only in the appropriate lanes. Don’t use your phone while driving, instead, program your navigation or holiday tunes before you start your car.
Have your car facing out in your parking spot: This position is safest for drivers because it helps you avoid the risk of reversing into a lane with potential blind spots when leaving.
Park further away, if you can: Instead of circling endlessly to get a spot that’s closest to the mall entrance, pick a spot that’s further away. You’ll avoid a high-traffic area where you’re more likely to crash with another vehicle or hit a pedestrian.
Slow down and be on alert: Drivers should drive slowly in parking lots to have enough time to react to an unexpected vehicle backing out of their parking spot or an unanticipated pedestrian, especially young children, who may be harder to see.
Pay attention to the arrows and stop signs: Many parking lots are quite narrow, restricting certain lanes to a single direction. Pay attention to the signs and markings on the road to avoid getting into a crash.
Don’t block traffic: Deciding to follow a shopper, then waiting for them to load their car, buckle up and leave, jams up traffic behind you and likely takes you much longer than if you had just found a spot further away. Sitting idle in a lane can leave you vulnerable to a collision, and you could be blocking other drivers who are trying to leave.

Let it go: No sense in having a showdown with another driver for a parking spot. Move along, and maybe that good karma will net you something really nice this season.

The number of crashes in B.C. peaked in 2017, with 350,000 crashes happening in the year, or 960 a day. The total cost of claims in 2017 was $4.8 billion, or $13 million a day.

IBC Issues Position Paper on Automated Vehicles

Source: IBC

During its annual Regulatory Affairs Symposium this month (November 2018), Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) released a position paper, Auto Insurance for Automated Vehicles: Preparing for the Future of Mobility.

The recommendations in the paper were developed over the past two years by auto insurance experts, who in turn, received input from a panel of legal advisors. IBC would like to thank the insurer representatives who worked on developing the recommendations in this paper, as well as the panel of legal experts who advised them.

The paper contains three recommendations that update both provincial insurance laws and federal vehicle safety standards:

  1. Establish a single insurance policy that covers driver negligence and automated technology malfunctions to facilitate liability claims;
  2. Establish a legislated data-sharing arrangement between vehicle manufacturers and vehicle owners and/or insurers to help determine the cause of a collision; and
  3. Update the federal vehicle safety standards to address new technology and cyber security standards.

“Automated vehicles are coming to Canada’s roads, and the laws that govern insurance and vehicle safety need to be updated to reflect this reality,” said Don Forgeron, President and CEO, IBC. “We need changes to the provincial insurance laws across the country to ensure that collision victims continue to be compensated in a timely manner.”

Each province has a prescribed auto insurance policy and supporting laws that are not yet designed for automated vehicles. Currently, they are built on the notion that human error is the primary cause of collisions. As humans cede control of driving to automated technology, the collisions that do occur will be caused increasingly by product malfunction. The current laws will create uncertainty and confusion for some people injured in collisions that involve automated vehicles, possibly delaying treatment for their injuries and claims payouts.

Several major auto manufacturers expect to have automated vehicles available for purchase in the early 2020s. IBC is asking governments across the country to update relevant laws, to ensure we are ready when automated vehicles hit the roads.

“N” Drivers Forever!

Does a novice driver have to take the test to become a fully licensed class 5 driver? While there is a limited time that a novice must remain in the Graduated Licensing Program there is currently no limit on the other end of the scale. “N” drivers forever!

Of course, remaining a novice driver comes at a cost. You must abide by all of the restrictions listed on the back of your licence.

Being a novice means displaying an N sign prominently on the rear of any vehicle that you drive. This includes vehicles that you drive for work purposes, even if they are owned by the company you work for.

Cell phones, hands free or not, are forbidden for you to use. Ditto the GPS whether it is on your cell phone or part of the vehicle dashboard.

The rules regarding impairing substances have changed recently. In addition to having a zero blood alcohol level when driving, a novice must not have cocaine or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in their body either. The Draeger Drugtest 5000 is approved for roadside screening to determine whether the driver is under the influence of marihuana or cocaine while driving or not.

There are passenger restrictions too. Novices may only carry one passenger. This restriction does not apply if the passengers are family members or the novice is accompanied by a properly licensed supervisor who is at least 25 years old and is not a learner or novice driver.

Novice drivers are also subject to stricter sanctions in RoadSafetyBC’s Driver Improvement Program. The chances of being prohibited from driving for a period of time if you receive a traffic ticket occur much sooner than they would for a full privilege driver.

Novices are allowed to drive outside of the province of BC as long as they follow the restrictions on their licence just as they would have to here in BC. Penalties for failing to do so are set by the province or state that the novice is driving in.

So, instead of worrying about the driver who has chosen not to test for their full privilege licence and remain a novice, perhaps we should admire them. They’ve decided to subject themselves to tighter sanctions than the rest of us when they drive. That is, until they face a driving prohibition after receiving a traffic ticket. Now there is incentive to test for full privilege licence and escape the sanctions of the Driver Improvement Program.

Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and 10 as a collision analyst responsible of conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web sites.

www.drivesmartbc.ca

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Don’t let Halloween become a nightmare – Drive Smart tips from ICBC

Halloween is meant to be a fun celebration, but it can also be risky if parents, children and drivers don’t take precautions. Last Halloween, there were 950 crashes, resulting in 280 injuries in B.C.*

With Halloween celebrations starting this weekend, here are ICBC’s tips to help keep ghosts and goblins of all ages safe:

Drive Smart tips

  • Stay well below the speed limit: Drive well below the speed limit in residential areas, especially between 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the peak period for trick-or-treating. A car going 30 km/hr needs about travels 18 metres – the length of four cars – in order to come to a complete stop. Driving at a lower speed will give you more time to stop in case a child runs across the street unexpectedly.

  • Scan as you drive: Children may be walking in unexpected places like driveways, alleys and parking lots. Drive slowly and be prepared to stop at a moment’s notice.

  • Don’t roll through stop signs or intersections: Come to a full stop at all intersections take the time to scan crosswalk and street corners. Small children can be difficult to see, especially when wearing a dark costume.

  • Do not pass a slow or stopped vehicle: Have patience on Halloween night. Many drivers will be driving slowly to watch out for trick-or-treaters. If a car is slowing down or stopped in front of you, don’t try to pass the car. They may be stopping to let children cross the road, or stopping for something else you cannot see.

Tips to keep kids safe

  • Make sure the costume fits: A costume that’s too big or small could cause a child to trip and fall, causing injury.

  • Be bright to be seen: Many costumes are quite dark, making your child less visible at night. Try to nudge your child toward a lighter costume. Add reflective tape to their outfit and treat bag, and get them to use a flashlight or headlamp to help them stand out in the dark.

  • Create a safe route: If your kids are trick-or-treating without you, plan a safe route for your children and their friends. The best route should be familiar, well-established, direct and away from busy main roads. Establish a return time.

  • Travel in groups: Organize a group to trick-or-treat together. Walking in a group will make you and your children more visible to drivers.

  • Follow the rules of the road: Always walk on sidewalks and cross only at crosswalks when travelling with your child. If there is no sidewalk, walk as far to the edge as possible, facing traffic. For older children that are trick-or-treating with friends, review the rules and remind them to work their way up one side of the street, instead of crossing back and forth.

  • Consider other ways to celebrate: Instead of traditional trick-or-treating, consider hosting a Halloween party for your child and their friends, attending a Halloween party if offered at local community centres, or taking your child to a local shopping centre that offers trick-or-treating opportunities in a well-lit, controlled environment.

Tips for adults to celebrate safely

  • Plan for a safe ride home: If your Halloween celebrations involve alcohol, make a plan before you head out. Arrange for a designated driver or use other options to get home safely—call a taxi, take transit or call a sober friend.

  • Light fireworks safely: In areas that allow the purchase of fireworks, light your fireworks in a clear, open and safe space. Lighting fireworks on the road is not safe for you or drivers.

Regional statistics*

  • In 2017, there were 600 crashes and 200 injured on Halloween in the Lower Mainland.

  • In 2017, there were 140 crashes and 27 injured on Halloween on Vancouver Island.

  • In 2017, there were 120 crashes and 30 injured on Halloween in the Southern Interior.

  • In 2017, there were 66 crashes and 13 injured on Halloween in the North Central region.

*Crashes and injuries are from ICBC 2017 data for the 24-hour period on October 31.

UBC researchers call on province to roll back 120 km/h speed limits on 1,300 km of roads

Read more

5 drivers with no insurance, licence pulled over in St. John’s region

One woman was on a Canada-wide driving ban; police impounded all of the vehicles

CBC News 

In just 12 hours on Tuesday, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary pulled over five drivers who didn’t have insurance or a licence.

Around noon, officers pulled over a vehicle and found the driver had a suspended licence.

The 48-year-old woman also didn’t have insurance.

Officers pulled over another vehicle around 7:30 p.m. for defective equipment.

They found the driver was suspended from operating a vehicle, and the vehicle was not insured.

Two more uninsured drivers were pulled over in Kilbride just after 10:30 p.m.

All of those drivers were given tickets and had their vehicles impounded.

And earlier in the day, a woman was found to be driving on a Canada-wide ban and with a suspended licence.

The vehicle she was driving was pulled over around 8:30 a.m. in Conception Bay South.

The 33-year-old woman was arrested and held overnight, and the vehicle was also impounded.

Source: CBC News

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