As a driver, the life and property of your passengers, fellow drivers and pedestrians are in your hands. Never drive distracted or under any influence.
- #LikeLife and don’t drive distracted
- Don’t drive under the influence
- Winter driving tips
- Spot a staged collision
#LikeLife and don’t drive distracted
Texting. Talking on the phone. Eating and drinking. Programming your GPS. Nearly 8 in 10 Canadian drivers admit to driving distracted – one of the leading causes of collisions, injuries and deaths on Canadian roads.1 Distracted driving is potentially as dangerous as impaired driving and much more common.
Did you know that:
47% of Canadians state they’ve sent a message while driving – using a voice-memo or by typing2
sending or reading a text is a minimum 5 second distraction – at 88.5 km/h that’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field3
if you talk on a cellphone while driving you’re 4 times more likely to be in a collision4
almost 21% of fatal collisions and 27% of serious injury collisions in Canada are linked to distracted driving5
if you use your phone or tablet while driving you may be breaking the law – all provinces and territories have bans in place on using hand-held cellphones and electronic devices while driving
depending on where you live, penalties for distracted driving can include hefty fines and, in many cases, demerit points
Avoid these distractions while driving
Pull over to use your phone or other electronic devices
Groom before you drive
Prepare a playlist beforehand
If something falls, leave it
Adjust seating and climate controls before hitting the road
Safely secure pets
Set GPS prior to departure
Don’t eat on the go
Adjust clothing before you drive
If a situation can’t wait, pull over
Don’t drive under the influence
Never get behind the wheel if you have impaired judgement. Consuming alcohol, drugs – cannabis, over-the-counter drugs, prescription medication, illegal substances – or any combination of these and other factors like fatigue can lead to impairment of your judgement.
Recognize that driving under any influence is dangerous and illegal.
The majority of Canadians are concerned about cannabis-impaired drivers on the road. A recent IBC poll finds that:
84% believe that driving while high poses a real risk to road safety
70% believe that driving while high is as dangerous as driving while impaired by alcohol
Amongst cannabis consumers:
62% have either driven or been a passenger in a car where the driver had recently consumed cannabis
61% believe it’s safe to wait less than three hours after consuming cannabis to drive
43% don’t know how long to wait before it’s safe to drive after consuming cannabis
Winter driving tips
Here are simple actions you can take to help keep safe on winter roads:
drive according to the road conditions and heed warnings from Environment Canada’s local weather offices
ensure your car is tuned up throughout the season:
check your vehicle’s battery, belts, hoses, radiator, coolant/antifreeze, oil, lights, brakes, exhaust system, heater/defroster, ignition system and tires
check the wipers regularly and carry an extra jug of windshield-washer fluid in your vehicle
inspect the tires and check the tire pressure at least once a month in cold weather
install four winter tires which will allow you to stop your vehicle 40% sooner than all-season tires and significantly improve handling
keep the gas tank topped up
always carry an emergency kit and include extra antifreeze, a flashlight, batteries, blankets, a candle and matches, hazard markers, a snow shovel, an ice scraper and brush, the phone number of a local towing company, sand, booster cables and food
tell someone where you are going and when you expect to arrive
bring a map or GPS and plan an alternative route
carry a charged cell phone
Spot a staged collision
A staged collision is no accident – it supports false auto insurance claims. A collision scenario can be mimicked regardless of the number of vehicles or occupants reported, the events reported, or the resulting damages and injuries. Be aware of:
a collision in which all vehicle occupants are aware of the scheme – if occupants were not in the vehicle at the time of impact, they are known as jump-ins
vehicles reportedly involved never actually colliding with each other – this is known as paper fraud
How to spot and protect yourself from 3 types of staged collisions
"Swoop and squat" scam
One scammer cuts off an accomplice, who then slams on the brakes in front of you and then claims you were at fault for rear-ending them.
How to help prevent it: Always keep plenty of distance between you and the car ahead.
"Drive down" scam
The scammer waves you out of your parking spot and then accelerates into you and claims the collision was your fault.
How to help prevent it: be cautious and patient when exiting a parking spot - wait until the coast is clear before exiting a spot. And, when possible, reverse into parking spots - this will help when it's time to leave.
"Bullet left turn" scam
The scammer waves you through an intersection and then drives into you and claims you are at fault.
How to help prevent it: be wary of accepting the right of way when making a left turn and ensure you're turning safely - with plenty of space between you and oncoming vehicles.
If you have information about auto insurance crime you can:
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