'What's the hurry?' ask Alberta's drivers

- TD Insurance Winter Driving Poll reveals Alberta's drivers are confident in their winter driving skills -

TORONTO, Nov. 25 /CNW/ - Too fast...too furious! Drivers who drive too fast in the winter top the list of Alberta residents' winter driving pet peeves, according to the TD Insurance Winter Driving Poll. The survey revealed that while Albertans are very confident in their driving skills, they are annoyed by bad driving habits, such as driving too fast (37%) and following too closely (32%).

The vast majority of Albertans consider themselves to be good winter drivers (91% vs. 88% nationally) and when the bad weather hits, they are most comfortable in the driver's seat. Sixty-eight percent of Albertans prefer being the driver when the weather turns, rather than a passenger (vs. 65% nationally).

"Thanks to Chinooks, the weather in Alberta can change abruptly, so Albertans need to be prepared for when the slush on their roads turns to ice," says Henry Blumenthal, Vice President and Chief Underwriter, TD Insurance. "The old saying 'it pays to be prepared' holds true when it comes to winter driving. With a winter driving course, drivers learn to react quickly to changes in road conditions and they can save a few dollars on their auto insurance premiums."

Ready, set, drive!

To prepare for winter driving, Albertans take extra care by driving slower in snowy or icy conditions (97% vs. 92% nationally), leaving themselves extra time to get to their destination (93% vs. 85% nationally) and checking weather and road conditions before leaving (88% vs. 81% nationally). One hundred percent of Alberta's women responded that they leave extra time and 98% said they drive slower. Only 41% of Albertans have snow tires (vs. 59% nationally).

Wintertime Pet Peeves

When asked about their winter driving pet peeves, Albertans lead the country in their annoyance with drivers who are too fast (37% vs. 31% nationally). Women in Alberta are the group most annoyed with that habit (54% vs. 34% of women nationally). Following that, Albertans' pet peeves are drivers who follow to closely (32% vs. 35% nationally) and drivers who don't brush snow off their cars (20% vs. 21% nationally).

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
    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 Insurance

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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