When the weather outside is frightful, BC drivers stay off the roads

- TD Insurance Winter Driving Poll reveals BC drivers are calmest -

TORONTO, Nov. 25 /CNW/ - Drivers in British Columbia know when to stay home. Compared to the rest of the country, they are the most likely to decide to stay off the roads and avoid driving when winter road conditions turn nasty (42% vs. 20% nationally). Overall, British Columbia's residents are the least anxious winter drivers in the country, with close to half (47%) reporting that winter driving doesn't affect them any more than driving during other seasons.

Interestingly, only 81% of BC residents consider themselves to be good winter drivers (compared to 88% nationally), tying with Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents for the fewest respondents.

"While staying off the roads in the winter is a good idea, it isn't always possible. Being prepared can give you peace of mind by knowing that you have the ability to handle any bumps in the road," says Henry Blumenthal, Vice President and Chief Underwriter, TD Insurance. "There are winter driving courses available that can increase your comfort levels as a driver - and can even save you money on your insurance premiums."

Prepared for anything

Are British Columbians less anxious about winter driving because they're better prepared? Men in BC are the most likely to pack an emergency kit in the country (59% vs. 44% of men nationally). British Columbians prepare for winter driving by driving slower in snowy or icy conditions (94% vs. 92% nationally), giving themselves extra time to get to their destination (85%, same as national statistic) and checking weather and road conditions before leaving (79% vs. 81% nationally). Despite laws requiring winter tires (or chains) on mountain roads in winter, only 54% of BC drivers have snow tires but 66% believe winter tires should be mandatory.

In the driver's seat

Ninety-one percent of men in BC would rather be drivers than passengers (vs. 85% of men nationally). Nearly a third of women in BC (32%) choose to drive when the snow hits (vs. 45% of women nationally). Overall, 65% of Canadians prefer to be the driver in snowy conditions versus being a passenger.

Don't drive so close to me...

When asked about their winter driving pet peeves, 39% of female drivers in BC said they are annoyed by drivers who drive too close to them (vs. 34% of BC men and 35% nationally) and who are too fast (39% vs. 27% of BC men and 31% nationally). Men in BC, Alberta and Atlantic Canada are the most likely to be annoyed by drivers going too slowly (8% respectively vs. 4% 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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