Work crews can shut down roads due to poor weather conditions or construction. What happens if you take a risk and drive ahead anyway? It's not only poor driving etiquette, but could actually make your insurance void in the event of an accident. Here are some things to think about before heading out on the road.
Safe Driving is the Law
There's a mixture of federal, provincial and city laws that apply to you on the road. These are intended to reduce collisions and keep everyone safe. If you violate those laws you can receive a ticket or fine, even if you are not in an accident. That's the case if you are caught speeding, for example, or disobeying road signs.
In these cases, your insurance coverage will usually stay intact but your premiums will go up. Your insurer has the right to do this in order to mitigate against its own risk.
Insurers May Not Pay Out for Illegal Activities
So, what happens when you are on the road, do something illegal, and end up in an accident? It depends on the circumstances, but your insurance company may have the right to refuse your claim. The wording in your policy may exclude coverage after certain events, such as if you are charged with impaired operation of a vehicle at the time of the accident.
During the winter, it is common for city crews to close local roads and highways. This is because the area is deemed unsafe. Drivers are not just encouraged to drive defensively -- they are told to avoid the area altogether. In Ontario, driving on a closed road comes with monetary fines. It also leaves you vulnerable if the unthinkable happens. Your insurer may not cover you for vehicle damage or personal injury if you have chosen to ignore the law in this way.
A local insurance representative in Orillia recently said this in a statement to local media: "You shouldn't be driving on a road that's closed. Your insurance could actually be void. If the roads are closed, don't go out because your insurance company could deny your claim."
Stay Safe - Stay Home
Thankfully, there are ways that you can make sure you protect yourself and keep your coverage intact. Stay up to date on road conditions. You can get the latest on closures by looking at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation's 511 site. If it looks bad out there, stay home.
Of course, that is not an option for everyone. Consider public transit if you have to head to work or school. If you must drive, notice those road signs -- and obey them, even if it seems safe to forge ahead.
Get the Best Coverage for Your Vehicle
Safe drivers deserve reasonable rates on car insurance. You can compare car insurance rates with Rates.ca.