In the Vancouver Sun’s August 27, 2014 edition, ICBC was reported as stating that recent, substantial increases in car accident injury claims are a key contributing factor to its proposed five percent increase in ICBC car insurance rates. In the article, ICBC was also quoted as reporting that in particular, rear-end crashes caused by distracted driving are increasing at a rate higher than any other type of vehicle accident. In fact, between 2,000 and 4,000 more claims per year are being filed with ICBC, resulting in $180 million in increased claims.
Distracted driving causing more accidents in BC resulting in higher ICBC Insurance Rate Hikes
There are a variety of reasons why ICBC’s costs are going up, including a too-often inflexible and ultimately counter-productive approach to settling car accident claims in BC. That said, distracted driving is undoubtedly causing more and more car accidents.
Distracted driving and car accidents are a public safety, personal health, and social issue. The impacts of car accidents caused by distracted driving affect us on multiple levels, including reducing road safety, increasing ICBC insurance rates and medical costs and compromising the emotional health of those involved. The key to reducing these impacts is safe driving practices.
Mark is a strong advocate of safe driving and comments, “The challenge of educating drivers and getting them to focus on the traffic and people around them instead of the never-ending distraction of calls, texts, and e-mails is enormous.”
Even with the new BC motor vehicle laws that came into affect in 2013 to reduce distracted driving, more than 88 people per year are killed on BC roads due to distracted driving. Enforcing laws against cell phone use while driving is a good start, but there is much more that needs to be done. Klein Lawyers is pleased to sponsor the invaluable work of Drop It and Drive (D.I.A.D.), an organization that is targeting the risks of distracted driving in the same way that Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) (another organization Klein Lawyers is proud to sponsor) targets impaired driving.
Our advice, based on our years of working with car accident victims? Focus on driving and put away any distractions before you get behind the wheel.
Vancouver Sun, August 27, 2014 http://www2.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=31245372-ef3d-4c4d-a99e-363335fc2d1d