-- TD Insurance Winter Driving Poll reveals how Canadians get ready for
snow on the roads --
TORONTO, Dec. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Feeling unprepared for winter road
conditions? You are not alone. With towering snow banks, the threat of
black ice, and poor visibility, it isn't surprising that one quarter of
drivers in Canada admit they feel scared, anxious or uneasy when
driving in winter. Yet as the thermostat drops, a new poll by TD
Insurance has found many drivers are not taking all the precautions
they can to stay safe and keep calm on the winter roads.
According to the poll, 60% of Canadian drivers don't carry an emergency
kit in their car, 38% don't get their car serviced before the season
begins, and 36% don't use snow tires in winter, despite the fact that
71% say they would feel safer driving this winter if other drivers had
winter tires on their car.
"Winter driving can be stressful for even the most experienced driver,
but if you are prepared with the rights tools and knowledge you will
feel more confident and better equipped to drive in winter weather,"
says Dave Minor, Vice President, TD Insurance. "For example, an
emergency kit in your car that includes a few basics - like a snow
shovel, ice scraper, blanket, flashlight and even some cat litter for
traction - can be crucial in helping you navigate your way safely out
of an accident."
As auto insurance claims spike during the winter, Minor also recommends
drivers review their policies before the season to ensure their
coverage still reflects their needs. However, the poll found that
although 95% of Canadian drivers say that auto insurance is an
extremely or very important tool to help overcome the challenges of
winter driving, only 12% of drivers review their auto insurance before
"It's unrealistic to know your policy line-by-line, but it's important
to familiarize yourself with your coverage so there are no unpleasant
surprises down the road," says Minor. "For example, check your policy
for what type of incidents you are covered for and what your excess
would be if you were in an accident. Remember to notify your insurer of
any installs or upgrades to your car, too."
As Canadians hit the road to visit friends and family over the festive
season, Minor provides his top tips for drivers on how to arrive safely
at their destination:
Prepare your vehicle for winter: Before the cold weather hits, make sure you get a maintenance check-up.
Ensure your battery or radiator is ready for sub-zero weather. Invest
in a set of winter tires and check the pressure often. Don't forget to
clear all the snow and ice off your car to increase visibility, and
adjust your seat, headrest, seatbelt and mirrors to a comfortable
Check the forecast: The safest strategy is to avoid driving in bad winter conditions
altogether. But if you have to hit the roads, Environment Canada issues
warnings when it expects blizzards, heavy snow, freezing rain and other
bad weather that you should check before you go. Seven-in-ten drivers
check the weather and road conditions before getting in their car and
87% give themselves more time to get to their destinations.
Fuel up: It's never a good idea to let your fuel run low. Not only could you be
left stranded, but it can also do serious harm to your car. A full
tank can help minimize condensation, prevent the gas line from
freezing, and can even provide additional traction if you hit a patch
of black ice.
Pack extra: On a snowy or windy day, it's easy to use up a few litres of windshield
washer fluid to maintain visibility, so keep extra in your vehicle.
Pack an emergency kit, and don't forget a fully-charged cell phone.
Remember the two-second rule: According to the poll, 88% of drivers leave more room between their car
and the car in front in winter. To ensure you leave adequate room, pick
a marker on the road ahead, such as a road sign or lighting. When the
back of the vehicle in front of you passes the marker, count 'one
thousand and one, one thousand and two'. If you reach the same marker
before you finish counting, you are following too closely.
Familiarize yourself with what to do if you're in an accident: Stay calm and safe, report the accident to your local emergency
services if necessary, exchange information with other drivers
involved, take photos, and contact your insurance company. Always
report a car accident to the police if someone is injured, or if the
damage is over the provincial limit (e.g. in Ontario the limit is
Review your insurance: In addition to knowing about policy coverage, ask if your provider
offers roadside assistance, which can be particularly useful in the
colder months. Completing a winter driving course can show you
additional techniques to stay safe during winter months, and it may
also save you money on your insurance premiums.
About the TD Insurance Winter Driving Poll
TD Insurance commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct an online
custom survey of 1,005 Canadian residents aged 18 and older who have
driven a motor vehicle on Canadian roads in the past 12 months.
Responses were collected from November 7 to 14, 2012.
About TD Insurance
TD Insurance offers a wide range of products to help protect clients
from the 'accidents of life' including credit protection, auto, home,
health, life, and travel insurance. With more than 3 million clients,
TD Insurance authorized products and services are available through a
network of more than 1,150 TD Canada Trust branches, the Internet and
telephone. For more information, visit www.tdinsurance.com
SOURCE: TD Insurance
For further information:
Liz Christiansen / Caitie Wallman
Paradigm Public Relations
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TD Bank Group