Car insurance is something we all purchase, but most of us hope we never have to use. According to official statistics*, approximately 26 000 people are hospitalized and approximately 430 people are killed in motor car crashes in BC each year. One way to avoid needing car insurance is by following some helpful road safety practices:
*BC Injury Research & Prevention Unit and Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
1. Drive carefully in intersections and other high-risk areas
Intersections and other high-risk areas are where a large percentage of vehicle crashes occur. This makes these locations the kind of places drivers need to be extra cautious and aware of their surroundings.
Tip: Hundreds of British Columbians are killed or injured every year while walking in intersections. Keep your eyes open for unaware pedestrians, particularly when you are turning into an intersections.
2. Drive the speed limit
Speed is one of the most common contributing factors to traffic collisions. Speeding not only reduces the amount of time a driver has to react to a situation, it also significantly increases the distance it takes to stop a vehicle. For example, the average stopping distance for a vehicle traveling at:
50 km/h 33 m
65 km/h 50 m
80 km/h 70 m
100 km/h 93 m
3. Avoid being an auto crime victim
In 2007, an average of 44 vehicles were stolen each day. This adds up to thousands of vehicles stolen around the province each year, costing policyholders millions of dollars. A key way you can help prevent your vehicle from being ripped off is by buying and using an anti-theft device. The three main types are:
|Auto Crime |
|Device type ||Description ||Effectiveness |
|Mechanical ||Steering wheel lock |
|Good– visible deterrent |
|Alarm ||Vehicle car alarm (hooked to car horn) ||Better– audible deterrent |
|Electronic immobilizer ||Shuts off one or more parts of the vehicle’s electrical system ||Best– disables vehicle |
Tip: For detailed advice about buying, installing and using anti-theft devices, go to the Auto Crime section of www.icbc.com
4. Don’t drink and drive
While this may seem like common sense, according to ICBC, more than 30% of crash fatalities each year involve alcohol as a factor. On average, close to 120 people have died – and thousands more have been injured – in alcohol-related crashes in BC each year since 2001.
ICBC’s CounterAttack Program has been educating BC residents for more than 20 years about the hazards of driving after you’ve been drinking.
Tip: Operation Red Nose is an organization that helps get you and your vehicle home safely if you’re unable to drive. www.bccpa.org
5. Young Drivers sometimes need a hand
Driving a car is a complex activity that holds considerable risk for young, inexperienced drivers. In fact, statistics show that 20% of new drivers will be involved in a car crash in their first two years of driving. And with car crashes being the #1 killer of BC youth (13 to 25 years old) you want to do everything you can to help your youth be a safe driver. That’s why we’re offering you Tips for Young Drivers, another example of how we do our best to help protect you and your family.