Whether you’re planning on driving up north for the weekend or just heading out on your daily commute to work, here are a few pointers to help you steer clear of the three most common collisions that result in car insurance claims.
Rear-end collisions are the leading cause of car insurance claims, making up about a quarter of all Economical auto claims across the country. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to avoid ending up in a rear-end collision:
- Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This is especially important in wet or snowy conditions, when it can take longer to stop than you might expect.
- Try not to slam on the brakes. If the driver behind you is following too closely or isn’t paying attention when you slam on the brake pedal, you could find yourself being rear-ended.
- Don’t drive distracted. If you take your eyes off the road (to check your teeth in the rear-view mirror, for example) and the driver in front of you has to slam on the brakes, it’ll only take a split second for you to run into their vehicle.
Parked car collisions
The second most common type of car insurance claim happens when a parked vehicle is hit by another driver (including hit-and-runs, where a driver who hits a parked car drives away without leaving their contact information). There isn’t a whole lot you can do to protect your parked vehicle from other drivers, but there are a few smart moves you can make to reduce your chances of experiencing a hit-and-run:
- Take a walk. Instead of parking in the busiest part of the lot, choose an area farther away from heavy traffic, shopping cart stations, and other obstacles — you’ll reduce your chances of dings and dents, and you’ll get some exercise while you’re at it.
- Park inside the lines. When entering a parking spot, try to park in the centre of the spot, rather than parking closer to one side or the other. If you park closer to one side, your car is more likely to be hit by another driver or a swinging door.
- Give them room. If you’re pulling into a spot beside another vehicle, avoid getting too close. Think about how much room the other driver will need to get back into their car — ideally without banging their door into yours.
Last but not least: single-vehicle collisions are the third most common type of accident that leads to car insurance claims. These include collisions with debris or animals on the road, vehicle rollovers, or accidental off-road driving. Here are three ways to avoid being involved in a single-vehicle collision:
- Drive for the weather. Even if you’re the only one on the road on a wet or snowy day, remember to drive according to the current weather conditions to keep control of your vehicle and avoid a collision.
- Keep your eyes on the road. An empty road isn’t an invitation to glance down at your phone. When you’re behind the wheel, your eyes should be on the road ahead.
- Watch your speed. Speed is a factor in many single-vehicle collisions. Always keep an appropriate speed for the current driving conditions.
While there are plenty of things you can do to avoid a collision, it’s not always possible to predict or prevent an accident — and that’s why you have car insurance. Your licensed broker can help you choose the coverage you’ll need to protect you in the event of a collision, and they’ll be there for you when you have to make a claim. If you don’t already have a broker, you can find one here.
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