At Lane’s insurance, we only provide policies from Alberta’s very best insurance companies, all of which come with exceptional car insurance claim supports. If you ever have to file a claim, we know you will be well taken care of.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Avoiding an accident also means avoiding a car insurance claim, which is the most effective way to keep your insurance rates low.
According to TeenSafe.com, distracted driving accounts for 25% of all fatal accidents in the U.S. Under Alberta law, you could be charged with distracted driving if you engage in any of the following while behind the wheel:
- Using a handheld cell phone
- Composing emails or text messages; the law applies even if you are stopped at a stop sign or red light
- Using any type of electronic equipment while the vehicle is in motion (including MP3 players, laptop computers, cameras and GPS units, among others)
- Reading, writing, or drawing while driving
- Grooming oneself while driving (including flossing, fixing hair, applying makeup, etc.)
A distracted driving ticket will result in a $287 fine and three demerits on your drivers license.
Speeding also greatly increases the chance of a car accident. It takes longer to slow a car down when it’s going really fast, and vehicles will also travel much further before they stop. The average time it takes for a driver to react to a sudden situation is 1.5 seconds, which is not likely to be quick enough. The Canada Safety Council says that speed is a factor in 12 per cent of all accidents, and 30 per cent of fatal accidents.
We all know that driving in the winter can be a challenge. We highly recommend winter tires, as they are specially designed to maintain their grip even in extremely cold temperatures. Experts recommend that you install your winter tires as soon as daytime high temperatures are regularly at or below 5 degrees Celsius. Increase following distances, plan and prepare for lane changes and exits far in advance (as in, do not make any sudden movements), and avoid driving in snowstorms. Operating a vehicle in rain or hail is also dangerous, and the same sorts of cautions apply.
Not paying attention to road signs
Failure to stop at a stop sign, merge and yield properly, and obey traffic lights are also common causes of car accidents. Defensive driving means you are always on the lookout for someone not following the rules of the road, and anticipating such actions can help prevent an accident. Don’t get wrapped up in your own commute – remember that we all share the road and that means being forgiving of others’ mistakes.
Unsafe lane changes
Calgary traffic can make lane changes stressful and hairy, as people have a tendency to follow the person in front of them too closely and not leave enough room for traffic to flow in and our of the lane. The rule of thumb is to be at least three seconds behind the person in front of you, and if someone changes lanes into that space, fall back so that you continue to be three seconds behind. Never make a lane change without signaling and shoulder-checking first. Maintain your speed as well, as speeding up places you in danger of a collision with the person in front of you. Also, never change lanes over a solid yellow line or at or near an intersection.
Accidents That Are the Other Driver’s Fault
Although we all have a responsibility to drive our vehicles in a safe, respectful, and defensive manner, we can’t account for other people’s actions on the road. The following types of accidents are almost always the other driver’s fault:
- Rear-end collisions when you are hit from behind when stopped .
- Being hit by someone making a left-hand turn, unless they were speeding, or had run a red light.
- If they were driving while impaired.
What to do After an Accident
Have you been in an accident? Here’s what to do, step-by-step.
Filing a Car Insurance Claim
Filing a car insurance claim can be easy, provided you have done your due diligence at the scene of the accident.
Make sure to collect the following information to submit to your insurance provider to open a new car insurance claim:
- The full names and addresses of all people involved in the incident
- Details regarding any injuries or property damage that resulted from the crash, regardless of who was at fault (if anyone)
- The facts and circumstances of the incident, including where it took place, the time at which it took place, the direction you were travelling, road and visibility conditions at the time of the incident, and the speed at which you were travelling
- Photographs of the scene of the incident, and of any damage to your vehicle
- Police reports (which are required in cases involving more than $2,000 in property damage in Alberta)
- Statements from people who witnessed the crash (if you are not at fault)
Your insurance provider will determine fault in the car insurance claim through industry-approved methods. If you have accident forgiveness on your policy, an at-fault collision may not affect your car insurance rates. If your vehicle is determined a write-off, you do have several options at your disposal.
Car Insurance Claim Advice From Lane’s
The experienced insurance brokers at Lane’s are there for you when accidents happen. We work for you, not the insurance companies, and can help guide you through the car insurance claim process. Plus, we can also help you save on your insurance rates. Contact us at our Calgary, Banff, Edmonton or Alberta offices for a fast, free quote.