Survey reveals only 45% of Canadian drivers feel very prepared to take proper
steps after a car accident

CARSTAR Collision Centres launch accident check list as Canadians get ready for busy March Break travel season

HAMILTON, ON, March 9 /CNW/ - Survey results released today show that only 45 per cent of Canadian drivers feel that they are very prepared to immediately take the proper steps required after a car accident. The Angus Reid Public Opinion poll commissioned by CARSTAR also found that just 33 per cent of drivers are very likely to remember to gather all pertinent information at the scene of an accident.

With March Break around the corner and many families planning to travel, CARSTAR has just released a handy accident check list for drivers to download and keep in their glove compartment. CARSTAR encourages drivers to arm themselves with knowledge before setting out for a vacation particularly at this time of year when the roads could be busier and the driving conditions affected by the weather.

"In our business, we are constantly dealing with drivers who have been in collisions and we know that even a minor mishap can be traumatic enough for drivers to forget what to do when an accident occurs," says Sam Mercanti, President and CEO of CARSTAR Automotive Canada Inc. "Our entire goal at CARSTAR is to make sure the after-accident experience is stress-free, we specialize in making accidents unhappen for drivers. Our downloadable accident check list is one more way we're able to provide support and make sure drivers avoid some common mistakes that can add to the anxiety."

CARSTAR has identified several important steps for drivers to follow and created a form to record more than 20 key pieces of information that are critical to ensure the smoothest possible process for drivers in case of an accident. The "CARSTAR Collision Accident Check List" is available at www.carstar.ca. CARSTAR encourages drivers to visit the site, download the tool and put a copy in their car with a pen or pencil so it's handy in the event they are involved in an accident.

CARSTAR's survey also found that just three-in-five Canadian drivers (61 per cent) know that it's their responsibility to decide where their vehicle is taken after an accident. Some thought that the decision is up to the police (13 per cent) the towing company (9 per cent) or their insurance company (11 per cent).

"It's important for drivers to know that choosing a collision repair centre is their responsibility, but when it's the first time, it's not uncommon for drivers to be uncertain about where to go," says Mercanti. "At CARSTAR we offer quality collision service through honest and accurate estimates, competitive pricing, and customer-friendly, professionally-trained staff. We offer a Lifetime Nationwide Warranty to customers so they can feel confident about having their vehicle repaired at any one of our locations."

One easy number to remember

Drivers planning to drive south to the United States this March Break should be aware of 1-800-CARSTAR, a North American wide accident assistance service offered by CARSTAR, connecting drivers to more than 400 locations across Canada and the U.S. A call to 1-800-CARSTAR will connect drivers to a live operator who will provide assistance and dispatch a reputable tow truck service to take the driver and their vehicle to the nearest CARSTAR location.

Mercanti says the availability of this service across North America appeals to drivers because it's easy to remember and is trustworthy.

"CARSTAR's 1-800 service eliminates some of the added stress that drivers may experience when a collision occurs far from home," says Mercanti. "So, March Break drivers can rest assured that the CARSTAR network will provide accident assistance wherever they are. We are committed to making the repair process as quick and painless as possible, making drivers feel as though the accident never happened."

Other survey results:

    
    -  83 per cent of drivers know what to do with their vehicle immediately
       after an accident. However, only 71 per cent of younger drivers (those
       aged 18-34) indicated that they know what to do.
    -  40 per cent of male drivers indicated that they were very likely to
       remember to gather all information at the scene of an accident, while
       only 27 per cent of women thought they were very likely to do the
       same.
    

About CARSTAR Automotive Canada Inc.

CARSTAR is the nation's largest collision repair franchise network. Founded in Hamilton, Ontario in 1995, CARSTAR Automotive Canada Inc. has grown from eight to over 140 locations throughout 10 provinces. CARSTAR has over 400 locations in North America and within Canada, repairs approximately 100,000 vehicles per year with the highest rate of customer satisfaction. Through a variety of fundraising initiatives, CARSTAR, its franchisees, partners and employees have raised over $1.7 million for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. For more information, please visit www.carstar.ca.

About the survey

From February 22 to February 23, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 926 randomly selected Canadian drivers who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The margin of error--which measures sampling variability--is +/- 3.2%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire population of drivers in Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

SOURCE CARSTAR AUTOMOTIVE CANADA INC.

For further information: For further information: Michele Enhaynes, Liz Luzza, PraxisPR, (905) 949-8255 x 229, 222, michele@praxispr.ca, liz@praxispr.ca; Sharon Welch, CARSTAR Automotive Canada Inc., 1-800-701-9452 x290, swelch@carstar.ca

Organization Profile

CARSTAR AUTOMOTIVE CANADA INC.

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