As we reflect back on 2017 news stories, what can we learn and which lessons can we bring into this New Year?

Canadian government reduces accident benefits

In 2016, the Ontario Government tightened the definition of what it means to be catastrophically injured when claiming Accident Benefits after being involved in a motor vehicle accident.

The new legislation has not only resulted in fewer benefits being awarded to catastrophically injured people, it has also significantly reduced the limits to support that can be accessed after this life-changing situation.

Increase in auto insurance becomes essential

The average decrease in insurance premiums since August 2013 is about 8.3 per cent, or a little over halfway to the government’s goal. However, benefits for catastrophic injury victims have been cut by 50 per cent.

The solution is toincrease your auto insurance coverage for a small monthly increase to ensure greater coverage and essentials such as medical rehab, attendant care and income replacement benefits.

Some interesting add-on benefits to consider are: short-term and long-term disability plans, private insurance plans, income replacement benefits, and extended health plans.

Sharing the road with cyclists

In the past year we have seen an increase of cyclists due to expanded bike lanes. Look no further than the newly added Bloor bike lanes in Toronto with cycling on Bloor St. increasing by 49 per cent to an average of 4,925 riders per day, with roughly 25 per cent of the increased ridership representing new cyclists.

With more and more cyclists, the province will be investing $93 million by next year to improve the province’s cycling infrastructure. Will an influx of cyclists mean more accidents between cyclists and motor vehicles? We hope not and recommend a review of the safety tips here.

Legalization of Marijuana

In 2017 the Canadian government decided to push forward its decision to legalize marijuana with many Canadians in favour of this decision. However, a question that arises is if the government is ready to handle and determine impaired driving? How this testing will be done as well as a legal limit is still being determined. Will the government and enforcement agencies be ready before July 1, 2018?

Heads up! Stories to look out for in 2018

Automated Vehicles

Recently Canada’s transport minister said when it comes to self-driving cars, Canada is doing its best to try to keep up with the pace of innovation. Ensuring proper laws are in place and that streets remain safe will be developing news this year.

Phones Down, Heads Up Act

Last October, a Liberal private member’s bill was introduced which proposes a fine for using a phone while crossing the road. Where the bill will go and the debate regarding its necessity is sure to be one that we see this year.

Increase in transport truck collisions

The last few months of 2017 saw in increase of transport truck collisions, mostly due to inattentiveness. What this means for transport truck training, as well as changes in regulations to truck inspections and amount of driving time, may change in the years to come.

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