In the driver's seat: Ontario drivers like to be in control

- TD Insurance Winter Driving Poll reveals majority of Ontarians would rather be in the driver's seat during winter road conditions -

TORONTO, Nov. 25 /CNW/ - When the weather outside is frightful, 67% of Ontarians prefer to be behind the wheel rather than in the passenger seat, even if that makes them nervous. Despite the fact that 88% of Ontario residents consider themselves to be good winter drivers, 53% admit they are more anxious driving in winter conditions according to the TD Insurance Winter Driving Poll.

"It's not surprising that people want to be in the driver's seat and, ultimately, in control in bad weather," says Henry Blumenthal, Vice President and Chief Underwriter, TD Insurance. "Another way to get the upper hand on Mother Nature is to be prepared. Invest in snow tires and an emergency kit, and brush up on your skills with a winter driving course - you'll save on your auto insurance premiums too."

Taking their time

Ontario drivers prepare for winter conditions in a variety of ways. Ninety-two percent of respondents in Ontario said they drive slower in snowy or icy conditions, 86% give themselves extra time to get to their destination and 83% say they check the weather and road conditions before leaving. Six percent of Ontarians said they don't do anything differently to prepare for winter driving.

Women in Ontario are better prepared for winter driving than men with 96% driving slower in snowy or icy conditions (compared to 87% of men) and 88% checking weather and road conditions before heading out (compared to 79% of men). Forty-nine percent of women have snow tires (vs. 40% of men).

Don't drive so close to me

When asked about their winter driving pet peeves, 34% of Ontario respondents said their biggest annoyance is drivers who follow too closely, 29% said drivers who are going too fast and 25% said drivers who don't brush the snow off their car. Interestingly, 5% 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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