Atlantic Canada's drivers are confident they can weather the storm

- TD Insurance Winter Driving Poll reveals Atlantic Canadians are the most likely to consider themselves good winter drivers -

TORONTO, Nov. 25 /CNW/ - Snow? Sleet? Ice? Bring it on! When it comes to braving the winter elements, those living in Atlantic Canada are the most likely to consider themselves to be good winter drivers (92% vs. 88% nationally), according to the TD Insurance Winter Driving Poll. Additionally, Atlantic Canada's women are the most confident female drivers in the country, with 89% saying they are good winter drivers compared to 82% of women nationally. Further, in the winter, sixty-seven percent of Atlantic Canadians would prefer to be in the driver's seat than be a passenger.

"Atlantic Canadians experience some of the harshest winter conditions in the country, so they get more practice than most driving in difficult conditions," says Henry Blumenthal, Vice President and Chief Underwriter, TD Insurance. "Regardless of how confident you are, it's always a good idea to brush up on your skills. A winter driving course can help you be even more confident on the roads and it can help you save money on your auto insurance premiums."

Slow and steady wins the race

Ninety-four percent of Atlantic Canada residents said they drive slower in snowy or icy conditions, 90% give themselves extra time to get to their destination and 82% say they check the weather and road conditions before leaving. Interestingly, 80% of those living in Atlantic Canada have snow tires, the highest number outside of Quebec (89%) where they are mandatory.

Women in Atlantic Canada prepare more than their male counterparts for winter road conditions, with 100% of them driving slower in snowy or icy conditions compared to 89% of men, 98% giving themselves extra time to get to their destination (vs. 83% of men) and 97% checking weather and road conditions before heading out compared to 67% of men. Eighty-six percent of women have snow tires (vs. 75% of men).

Drivers' pet peeves

When asked what their biggest pet peeve is when it comes to winter driving, 42% of Atlantic Canada residents said their biggest annoyance is drivers who follow too closely behind their car and 32% said it is drivers who are going too fast. Interestingly, 4% said their pet peeve is drivers who are too slow.

A few words from the wise

RoadSafetyFirst.com - an online resource from TD Insurance dedicated to road safety - offers articles on a variety of topics related to road safety, an RSS feed with the latest news, road conditions and weather, and tips for safe driving, including:

    
    1.  Leave some room. It takes a greater distance to stop on ice and snow.
        Maintain a safe distance with the car in front - even when at a stop
        sign or light.
    2.  Slow down. Quick lane changes or braking can lead to skidding and
        possibly losing control of the vehicle.
    3.  Be prepared before heading out. Put together a winter driving kit to
        help handle on-the-road emergencies. Kits could include a snow shovel
        and brush, booster cables, a candle, a blanket and kitty litter.
    4.  Keep it clear. Clear all the ice and snow off your vehicle and check
        that headlights, turn signals and tail lights are also clear before
        getting on the road. Frosty windows may reduce visibility and chunks
        of ice or snow blowing off a car in motion can be hazardous to other
        drivers.
    5.  Speak to your insurer. While preparing for the season, it's a good
        time to call your insurer and review your auto insurance policy.
    

For more information on auto insurance or for a free quote, visit www.tdinsurance.com or call 1-800-338-0218.

About the TD Insurance Winter Driving Poll

From November 10 to November 11, 2009, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted the TD Insurance Winter Driving Poll among 1,027 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error - which measures sampling variability - is +/- 3.1%. The results of the online survey have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of Canada.

About TD Insurance

The TD Insurance brand is a part of TD Bank Financial Group. The wide range of TD Insurance products help protect clients from the 'accidents of life' including credit protection, life, health, travel, home and auto insurance. With more than three million clients, TD Insurance authorized products and services are available through a network of more than 1,000 TD Canada Trust branches, the Internet and telephone. The TD Insurance brand, through its TD Insurance Credit Protection and TD Insurance Life and Health brands, is the number one provider of critical illness insurance and direct life and health premium origination in Canada. And through its TD Insurance Meloche Monnex and TD Insurance Home and Auto brands, is the largest direct-response insurance group in the country. For more information, visit www.tdinsurance.com.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

For further information: For further information: Jacqueline Burns, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 308-0177, jacqueline.burns@td.com; Karen McCullough, Anne Locke, Paradigm Public Relations, (416) 203-2223, kmccullough@paradigmpr.ca, alocke@paradigmpr.ca


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