Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    The year just flew by, it ’s barely 45 days and we’re into 2019.  It is amazing that with the change of season, that’s how fast we can feel that the year is almost over.  We started getting snow here and there and yet we’re still in the fall season. Mid-October to early November was a [...]

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Page added on November 28, 2012

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Tips for winter driving

Winter is upon us, and that means snow and ice can create dangerous winter driving. We all need plan ahead and drive according to the conditions.

Snowplow operators keep our roads and provincial highways clear and open to traffic. They’re committed to maintaining safe winter driving conditions, but they can’t do it alone. Drivers have a role to play, too, if incidents are to be avoided.

Things you can do include keeping your car in shape for winter driving, and recognizing that severe storms can make driving much different from summer conditions. Slow down when conditions aren’t ideal and allow yourself at least three times the normal following distance to stop. More winter driving tips for motorists are available on the Alberta Transportation website at www.transportation.alberta.ca/3223.htm.

Winter also means the chance of getting into a traffic accident increases due to poor road conditions. We all hope that we will never be involved in a motor vehicle accident, but if it does happen, we must all be prepared.

First, if you are ever in an accident do not leave the scene. Failure to stop could lead to demerit points taken from your driver’s license or a more serious criminal charge. If anyone is injured, make sure they get medical help by contacting 911 as soon as possible.

After the collision, make the scene safe by moving vehicles and passengers away from traffic, unless someone is injured or you suspect a drunk driver. To alert other drivers, use hazard lights, cones, warning triangles or flares. Do not stand in between two vehicles, or in front or behind a vehicle to inspect damage.

When it is safe to do so, take pictures of the damage and collect as much information from the other driver and witnesses as possible. As a helpful guide, you can use a Collision Worksheet found at www.autoinsurance.alberta.ca.

As soon as possible, advise your insurer of the details of the collision, including any injuries and damages to vehicles or properties. It is important to confirm what is included in your coverage and request the forms required to access coverage. Insurance companies determine liability, not the police. If necessary, liability can be determined by the court.

It is also important to understand your insurance plan. Make sure to read your policy when you purchase insurance coverage, instead of waiting until after a collision. If you do not understand your policy, ask your agent, broker or insurance company for clarification.

Finally, when you are looking to repair the damages to your vehicle, you have the right to have the damage estimated and repaired at the repair facility of your choice. When you select the repair facility, the responsibility for a satisfactory repair job rests with you, not the insurer. Your insurance company may recommend, but not require that your car be repaired at a specific shop.

In some cases, your insurer may exercise their right to repair your vehicle by giving you formal notice. In such a case, your insurer may have the vehicle repaired where they choose, but must restore the damaged vehicle to its condition prior to the collision. In case of disagreement with your insurer over your vehicle’s repair, a formal dispute resolution process is available to you.

So, as you head out on the roads this winter please stay safe and keep all of this information in mind. For more information on road conditions before you head out visit www.ama.ab.ca/road-reports/routes.

Mona Koch
Correspondence Assistant to
Honourable Thomas A. Lukaszuk
Office of the Deputy Premier









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