Last winter’s extreme conditions contributed to a 10% increase in motor-vehicle casualty crashes in B.C.

RICHMOND, BCOct. 2, 2017 /CNW/ – Last winter’s extreme conditions contributed to a 10 percent increase in motor-vehicle casualty crashes in B.C. between October and December, where driving too fast for the conditions was a contributing factor. This is a 10 per cent increase from 2015, when 570 casualty crashes occurred, as compared to 626 in 20161 (police-attended crashes, 2012–2016).

While last year’s weather was unusual for some parts of the province, on average, each year in British Columbia the number of casualty crashes due to driving too fast for conditions doubles in December compared to October. Between 2012 and 2016, an average of more than 260 casualty crashes occurred in December compared to approximately 130 in October (police-attended crashes, 2012-2016).

For those who drive for work, October, November and December are the most dangerous months. Almost 30 per cent of all work-related crashes resulting in injury and time-loss claims occur during these three months.

In December 2016 alone, WorkSafeBC claims from crashes that resulted in injuries and lost time from work were 38 per cent higher than in December 2015.

Depending on where you drive in the province, winter road conditions vary, from snow and ice in the north and on high mountain passes, to rain and fog commonly found in the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island. Drivers need to prepare for the possibility of changing road and weather conditions, and adapt.

Between October 1 and March 31, most B.C. highways require passenger vehicles to have winter tires (three-peaked mountain and snowflake, or mud and snow) and commercial vehicles to carry chains. The Winter Driving Safety Alliance advises all drivers to prepare now to stay safe on the roads this winter:

  • Don’t go — If conditions are bad, postpone your trip if possible.
  • Plan your trip — If you have to travel, check road and weather conditions and select the safest route. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination to avoid rushing, and have an emergency plan if you get stuck.
  • Prepare your vehicle — Install a set of four matched winter tires and keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Every year, be sure to give your vehicle a pre-season maintenance check-up.
  • Slow down and drive to the conditions — Even the most confident and seasoned drivers are at risk in hazardous road conditions. Slow down to match road conditions and maintain a safe following distance, at least four seconds,between you and the vehicle ahead.
  • For employers and supervisors — The Winter Driving Safety online course and Toolkit on the Shift Into Winterwebsite provides useful information for planning, implementing and monitoring a winter-driving safety program.

For more information about what you can do to stay safe while driving this winter, visit ShiftIntoWinter.ca.

Quotes:

Hon. Harry Bains, Minister of Labour –
“I encourage all drivers to keep themselves, and others who use the road, safe in the wintry months ahead. Anything a driver can do to prevent an accident from occurring, whether it’s by slowing down, abiding by road signs, or being a little more present while driving, will help to keep more people safe.”

Hon. Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure –
“We want to remind everyone to ensure their vehicle is prepped and ready for winter weather in advance. This means having proper winter tires (Mountain Snowflake or M+S tires) for certain routes, checking DriveBC before you head out, and giving yourself extra time to travel in bad weather conditions.”

Al Johnson, Vice President, Prevention Services, WorkSafeBC 
“Each and every worker in the province deserves to go home safely at the end of the day, whether they work in a fixed workplace or their office is on the road. Many BC workers who drive for work are at greater risk of injury during the winter months because driving conditions are more extreme. The Shift into Winter campaign reminds us why being prepared before road conditions deteriorate is so important – to prevent serious work-related injuries and deaths. Being prepared can save lives.”

About the Winter Driving Safety Alliance

This multi-agency working group shares a common goal of reducing the frequency and severity of winter-related motor vehicle crashes. Ambulance Paramedics of B.C. CUPE 873, BCAA, B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, Mainroad Group, B.C. Forest Safety Council, B.C. Trucking Association, Finning, Government of B.C., Insurance Corporation of B.C., Justice Institute of British Columbia, Kal Tire, Pacific Coach Lines, RCMP, WorkSafeBC, Automotive Retailers Association, Trucking Safety Council of B.C., City of Prince George, and Tire and Rubber Association of Canada.

SOURCE Road Safety At Work

IBC reminds consumers to be prepared

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Protect your home from water damage

Severe thunderstorms with torrential downpours and damaging winds are more common than ever and usually occur with little to no warning. The effects of heavy rainfall can be costly and that’s why CAA Insurance Company is reminding homeowners to protect their property before a loss.

“Now is the time to review your home insurance policy to make sure you have the right coverage to safeguard your home and your valuables. Be sure to understand what is and isn’t covered and speak to an insurance advisor if you have any questions,” said Matthew Turack, President, CAA Insurance Company.

The timely reminder comes as CAA Insurance introduces new and enhanced water coverage in Ontario. As of October 15th, 2016, the new water coverage includes protection against sudden and accidental damage caused by water that enters your home from any entry point.

How to prevent water damage:

  • Extend your downspouts so that rainwater flows away from your home. Maintain your eavestroughs and downspouts, and have them inspected yearly.
  • Install flood shields on all basement windows above ground level.
  • Ensure the grading around your yard slopes away from your home.
  • Professionally installed backflow valves will help to prevent sewage back up in your home. These are designed to automatically close when they detect water trying to enter your home from the sewer, stopping potential water damage.
  • Inspect the exterior foundation walls for cracks and have them repaired or filled.

If you experience flooding in your home:

  • Contact your insurance company immediately. If you are insured with CAA Insurance, call 1-877-222-1717 to report your claim any time of the day or night on any day of the week.
  • Have your policy number ready. This is one of the first pieces of information you’ll be asked for.
  • Ask questions about your home insurance coverage and deductible.
  • Document and take photos of the water damage. Adjustors will need as much information as possible.

For over a hundred years, CAA has been helping Canadians stay mobile, safe and protected. CAA South Central Ontario is one of nine auto clubs across Canada providing roadside assistance, travel, insurance services and member savings for our 2 million members.

SOURCE CAA South Central Ontario

Prepare Now: Special weather statement issued for parts of British Columbia

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is encouraging British Columbians living in the south coastal area to prepare for strong winds and heavy rains due to arrive Wednesday night. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for much of the region and rainfalls upwards of 200mm are forecasted.

“Storms such as this can have a huge impact on families and communities,” said Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC. “That’s why we want to help make sure that British Columbians are prepared for when bad weather strikes. If you have any questions, contact your insurance representative or call IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1‑844‑2ask-IBC. We’re here to help.”

Help protect your home from storm damage:

  • Store valuable items in upper floors of your home, away from the basement.
  • On lower levels raise large appliances, furnaces, hot water heaters and electrical panels up on wood or cement blocks
  • If flooding is imminent, shut off electricity to areas of the home that may be affected. Use sand bags or install flood shields or built-up barriers for basement windows and doors.
  • Create an emergency preparedness plan with your family.
  • Assemble an emergency supply kit.
  • Prepare a detailed home inventory.
  • Pay attention to local authorities and monitor weather developments regularly.

When severe weather occurs, it is important for consumers to understand their insurance policies and to know what is covered. If damage occurs, IBC is here to help policyholders if they have any insurance –related questions.

Starting the claims process:

  • When safe to do so, assess and document damage.
  • Call your insurance representative and/or company to report damage or losses.
  • Be as detailed as possible when providing information.
  • If you need help getting in touch with your insurer, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ASK-IBC (1-844-227-5422).

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 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. 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.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

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