By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and with our Privacy Promise.

How to avoid four common causes of car accidents

Car insurance can help drivers handle expenses from an accident, such as car repairs. Being a safe driver is what vehicle owners can do to potentially steer away from accidents happening in the first place. Here are four common causes of car accidents and how safe driving can help to avoid them.

Distracted driving

Many provinces are trying to combat distracted driving by adopting new laws and penalties to discourage drivers from dangerous behaviour while behind the wheel. Most jurisdictions define distracted driving as activities such as using hand-held mobile phones, texting or emailing and personal grooming (i.e., putting on makeup or shaving).

In Alberta, distracted drivers are penalized with a $287 fine and receiving three demerit points assigned to a driving record. In Ontario, fines start at $490 and can go as high as $1,000 in addition to the three demerit point penalty.

Regardless of the fines, being involved in an accident from distracted driving can be more costly. In 2013, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation estimated every 30 minutes, a person was injured by a distracted driving collision.

Here are four ways not to be distracted while driving:

  • turning off phones or notifications while driving
  • turning off phones or notifications while driving
  • pulling over to use electronic devices (phones, GPS, etc.)
  • asking passengers to read maps, answer phone calls or respond to a text message

Weather conditions

Rain, snow and ice can cause roadways to become slippery. This can increase the time it takes to bring a vehicle to a full stop. Visibility can also be reduced.

To handle these weather conditions, the following can help:

  • reduce speed and drive cautiously
  • reduce speed and drive cautiously
  • install winter tires
  • leave extra room between vehicles on the road
  • ensure your vehicle has windshield wiper fluid to keep the front windshield as clean as possible

Speeding

Drivers who exceed the speed limit have less time to stop and react to road hazards. Both can lead to accidents or fatalities. In 2015, 25% of Alberta drivers involved in deadly accidents were driving at unsafe speeds and in 2017, the Ontario Provincial Police say that speeding is the leading cause of road fatalities so far.

  • always following posted speed limits
  • watching out for construction, playground or school zones
  • avoiding other vehicles traveling at unsafe speeds

Impaired driving

Impaired driving refers to drivers operating their vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to Statistics Canada, there were over 70,000 impaired driving incidents reported by police in 2015. Of the incidents there were 122 fatalities and 596 injuries.

Drivers convicted of driving under the influence could also see their insurance premiums increase as a result of these offensives.

Here are some tips to prevent impaired driving situations:

  • never operate a vehicle while impaired
  • never operate a vehicle while impaired
  • always arrange for a taxi or ride share to get home safely
  • serve non-alcoholic beverages if hosting a party

Steer towards safety

Drivers are responsible for their safety and the safety of their passengers. Whether it’s slick winter roads or buzzing cell phones, it’s important to focus on the road to avoid dangerous situations.

Some provinces also offer incentives for safe driving. In Ontario, Usage-based insurance (UBI) is a system insurance providers use to offer insurance-premium discounts to safe drivers. Read about how UBI works on our blog and contact an Ontario-based BrokerLink broker to learn more.

Safe drivers can still encounter unexpected events, which is why the right car insurance is also important. Take a look at our auto insurance refresher to learn about which coverages are required and other coverages which can help drivers.