Time Change leaves Canadians nervous behind the wheel

    Almost one-quarter of Canadians admit to apprehension as a result of Fall
    time change

    TORONTO, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - Canadians may enjoy gaining an extra hour of
sleep when the clocks turn back, but losing an hour of daylight leaves many
drivers apprehensive behind the wheel, according to a new survey commissioned
by leading home, car and business insurer RSA.
    In a national survey conducted by Angus Reid Strategies, one-quarter of
respondents say lack of daylight impairs their ability to drive safely. More
specifically, almost a quarter of Canadians surveyed say they are more
apprehensive driving after the time change has come into effect on 
November 1, when it gets darker earlier.
    "The time change means that suddenly commuters will be driving home in
the dark when it's more difficult to see pedestrians, cyclists and other
vehicles sharing the road," says Irene Bianchi, Vice President Claims &
Corporate Services at RSA.
    "It's crucial, particularly when drivers are adjusting to the lack of
daylight, that caution is exercised behind the wheel in order to prevent and
avoid crashes and injuries."
    Women were more apprehensive driving after the time change (31%) than men
(15%). And younger drivers - aged 18 to 35 - find the darkness to be a greater
impairment to their ability to drive safely (26%) than respondents aged 55 and
older (19%).
    Respondents in the Atlantic region expressed the most concern about
driving in the dark, with 35 per cent citing lack of daylight as a major
impairment to their ability to drive and almost three-in-ten (27%) saying they
are more apprehensive after the time change comes into effect. In Saskatchewan
and Manitoba, 29 per cent said they are more apprehensive driving following
the time change, compared to 25 per cent in Quebec, 20 per cent in B.C., 20
per cent in Ontario and 18 per cent in Alberta.

    RSA reminds drivers of the following safety messages, particularly when
driving at night:

    -   Make sure your headlights work and are aimed properly.
    -   Give more distance between you and other cars you are following -
        especially in wet or snowy weather.
    -   In rural areas, be aware that wildlife is more active at night.
    -   Keep the phone number for your insurance company and a reputable tow
        company or 24/7 roadside assistance in your car.
    -   Dim onboard navigation devices so the bright light doesn't distract
        you, particularly in rural areas.
    -   Keep your headlights clean. Dirty headlights can reduce light by 75
        per cent.

    The survey was conducted on October 17, 2008 and surveyed 1003 adults
across Canada. Results are based on two-sided tests with significance level

    Notes to editors:

    -   RSA is the national insurance sponsor of the AIR MILES(R) Reward
        Program. Earn 1 AIR MILES(R) reward mile for every $20 (including
        taxes) spent on a new or renewed personal home or car policy
        purchased through a local RSA insurance broker. For more information,
        visit www.rsagroup.ca

    About RSA

    RSA Group Canada includes Roins Financial Services Limited, Royal & Sun
Alliance Insurance Company of Canada, Quebec Assurance Company, Johnson Inc.,
Western Assurance Company, Ascentus Insurance Ltd., Canadian Northern Shield
Insurance Company and is part of RSA Insurance Group plc. RSA Canada employs
approximately 3,000 people and is represented by a large network of brokers
across the country. In 2007, the Canadian Group wrote $1.6 billion in direct
premiums with assets exceeding $5.5 billion. Internationally, RSA Insurance
Group plc employs about 22,000 people and has the capability to write business
in 130 countries and in 2007 its net written premiums were $12.5 billion. RSA
is a trade name of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Sarah Kennedy, External Communications
Consultant, RSA, (416) 366-7600 ext. 2987, sarah.kennedy@rsagroup.ca

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