ICBC Road Safety Coordinator
WE often start a new year with the same list of resolutions: eat better, get more sleep and exercise more. Even if you’ve already set your goals for the year or if you’ve given up on resolutions altogether, I encourage you to actually consider setting a goal about your safety on the road. Take a minute to realistically think about your driving habits. Is there any way you could adjust your driving to reduce your risk of crashing and keep yourself and others safe?
Whether you glance at the occasional text message while driving, drive too quickly when the conditions are poor and you’re in a rush, don’t signal every time you change lanes or often aren’t fully focused on the road when you’re busy and in auto-pilot. Set a goal and make a plan to help you fix one of your bad driving habits. There isn’t much better motivation to help you stick to your resolution than potentially avoiding being involved in a car crash!
Despite our best efforts, the reality is that crashes happen. About 717 crashes happen every day in B.C. That’s why we believe it’s important for everyone to have a good understanding of what happens after you’re involved in a crash and what your rights are in case it happens to you or a loved one. Here are some interesting facts that you might not know:
* When you call ICBC’s Dial-a-Claim to report a crash, if you’re injured, we’ll help you access the medical benefits you’re entitled to immediately without any out-of-pocket expenses or signing anything first. This includes physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic treatments and more.
* We’ll also arrange for an estimate of the damage to your vehicle so you can start repairs or receive compensation if your vehicle isn’t repairable.
When you’re ready, we’ll discuss a settlement – one based on your personal circumstances, the nature of your injury, lost wages and the impact on your lifestyle. In most cases, customers have up to two years to consider a settlement offer and figure out what’s right for them.
* ICBC has a dedicated phone line to help Punjabi-speaking customers who need language assistance with their claim (1-866-906-6163; available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.). ICBC also offers free, over-the-phone translation services in over 170 languages for customers who need special assistance to discuss their claim.
This year, make your safety on the road a priority and do what you can to help prevent crashes. If you are ever involved in a crash, remember that we’re here to help you recover and get back on the road as quickly as possible.