A recent massive collision on the Queen Elizabeth 2 on March 21, 2013 in between Edmonton and Calgary involved close to one hundred vehicles (with 45 in the main accident) spread out over a 15-kilometer stretch. It is the second largest pileup in the Alberta’s history, with an April 2010 crash with 86 vehicles in its primary cluster still holds that dubious honour.
While the RCMP are still investigating causes, speed and weather conditions are believed to have been factors. The March 21 crash left three dead and more than one hundred people injured, underscoring the need for drivers to take every precaution possible to be safe at all times.
What Does Your Vehicle Insurance cover?
With the highway closed for twelve hours, those involved in this recent highway accident that were lucky enough to escape injury had plenty of time to contemplate whether or not they had the right car insurance. Unfortunately, if your vehicle is damaged in an accident and you only have the minimum coverage required by law, the cost of transporting and repairing your car rests on your shoulders.
The right car insurance won’t prevent an accident on Calgary’s busy streets, but it can make life after much easier. Even though Alberta sets a standard minimum coverage for all drivers, that protection is primarily for liability, medical, disability and funeral benefits. And the government faces a challenge in keeping policies affordable while still requiring all drivers to have adequate insurance. The healthcare costs alone paid out by insurance companies are staggering. Each year Canadian insurers pay over $2 billion to provide health care, mostly due to car accidents.
Bow Valley Insurance represents several of the leading Calgary car insurance providers in the business and can make sure you have the protection you need.
What Can You Do?
You can’t control the weather, and you can’t control other drivers. However, responsible drivers can take steps to reduce the risks of the road. We offer these safety and preparedness tips to help you avoid accidents and make your way safely down the road.
- Winterize your vehicle. A thorough inspection of your brakes, lights, hoses, and tires can help keep your vehicle on the road and make it easier to stop even in difficult conditions.
- Use winter tires. Cold weather below -7 degrees Celsius causes “all weather” tires to lose their grip. Winter tires are made of special rubber that remains flexible and have treads designed to help you corner and stop better in cold temperatures.
- Drive smart. Many drivers become complacent during nicer weather and forget how much more hazardous the roads can be. It is extremely important to slow down and allow more space between vehicles. Under any conditions, you should always wear your seatbelt, be well rested, sober, and distraction-free. Deal with your cellphone when you are parked only!
- Make yourself visible. When driving in poor conditions, use your low beam headlights. High beams reflect off snow and water and reduce your ability to see the road ahead clearly and can blind other drivers. Before you get on the road, clear your vehicle of snow and frost. When an accident occurs, put on your emergency flashers to let other drivers know they need to slow down and be cautious.
- Prepare for the weather. Even when taking a short trip down the road, it’s important to be ready for what could happen. Wear warm clothing, and keep boots, gloves, blankets and a warm winter coat in your vehicle. Prepare an emergency kit stocked with snack food, water, a blanket, tools, jumper cables, a tow chain, antifreeze and a fire extinguisher.
At Bow Valley Insurance, we want you to be safe on the road no matter when you have to travel. Having the right car insurance and taking a few simple precautions can make all the difference. Call us at (403) 297-9400 or 1-800-332-1308 to speak one of our experienced and knowledgeable insurance specialists or visit our website for a free quote.