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The cost of bad driving

Last update: Dec. 10, 2015, at 11:17 am

Speed up, slow down, speed up—brake lights!—speed up again… right-hand turn! Sound familiar?


Everyone’s had the misfortune of being stuck behind a pedal-happy driver. We can all agree that hard starts and stops and sudden turns are annoying, but are they really dangerous? The answer is yes: They’re big risk factors in road accents, especially those involving pedestrians.

The statistics speak for themselves. In Quebec, in 2013, 65 pedestrians were killed and 2816 were injured from motor vehicle collisions. Cyclists are also victims of accidents: 13 people were killed, 88 were seriously injured and 1853 were slightly injured in 2012. According to Transport Canada’s 2012 report “Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics”, 312 pedestrians and 61 cyclists were killed in collisions with cars.

These kinds of bad driving habits, most of which can be chalked up to negligence or distraction, put everyone’s safety at risk.

Short-term costs

Did you know that abrupt stop-and-go driving actually eats up more gas? And while we might be enjoying low pump prices right now, we certainly can’t expect them to stay that low forever.

Long-term costs

Smooth driving is the key to good car health. The harder you drive, the more often you’ll find yourself shelling out for new tires, oil changes, brake repairs and maintenance for other prematurely worn parts.

Bad habit or traffic offence?

Québec

In Quebec, some bad driving habits are actually offences under the Highway Safety Code and could cost you a few demerit points. Here are some examples:

  • Sudden unnecessary braking: 2 points
  • Accelerating while being passed by another vehicle: 2 points
  • Failure to stop before turning right on a red light: 3 points

Ontario

In Ontario, some bad driving habits are actually offences under the Highway Traffic Act and could cost you a few demerit points. Here are some examples:

  • Making a right-hand turn on a red where it’s not allowed could lose you 2 points for an “improper right turn.”
  • Expect to be docked 3 points for “failing to obey a stop sign or signal light.”
  • Speeding up while another vehicle is attempting to pass you isn’t just rude, it’s considered “improper passing” and could cost you 3 points.

You don’t want to feel rushed behind the wheel. Leave home a little bit early and concentrate on your driving, instead of the clock. You’ll be glad you did!

Added bonus: Concentrating on the road and manoeuvring more smoothly make for a much less stressful driving experience. Good driving can be good for your health!

Need to drive off some steam?

There’s nothing like zipping around the track at your local go-kart course. What better place to get all your speeding out of your system than somewhere no one will tell you to slow down? Whether you’re racing against your friends or just trying to beat your own best time, it’s a great way to let off some steam without stressing out your fellow drivers.


Other topics of interest:

Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and to Certas Direct Insurance Company in Ontario and Alberta. Certain restrictions, exclusions and limitations may apply.

Ajusto is available from Desjardins Insurance. ® Ajusto is a registered trademark of Desjardins General Insurance Inc., used with permission by Certas Direct Insurance Company. The discount does not apply to certain endorsements and additional coverages. It will be automatically applied to the premium at the time of renewal. Ajusto is only available in Ontario and Quebec.

All information is provided for information purposes only, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for it. We recommend using caution and consulting a property and casualty insurance agent for comprehensive, personalized advice.

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