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Burnaby General Practice Law Blog

Car vs. bicycle accidents can have devastating consequences

The fact that bicyclists have none of the protection vehicle drivers have makes them extremely vulnerable on British Columbia roads. Even with wearing helmets, victims of bicycle accidents can suffer catastrophic or even fatal injuries when struck by cars. Distracted or impaired vehicle operators cause a significant percentage of recorded bike accidents every year.

Intersections are said to be particularly dangerous areas for car and bicycles. Drivers can prevent hitting cyclists by keeping a safe following and passing distance, yielding for them when necessary, and shoulder checking for bicyclists before turning right or opening the door -- the latter applies to passengers as well. Drivers must also scan for bicycle riders before turning left across bike lanes and before they enter the road from a driveway, parking lot or a side street.

Increased car accident costs and rates concerning for ICBC

According to recent statistics from ICBC, car accident rates in British Columbia are at an all time high. The numbers have prompted the release of an online tool, the Drive Smart Refresher Test, aimed at helping people refresh their knowledge of car safety and avoid a car accident themselves. This free quiz highlights the bad driving habits and potentially outdated knowledge, an issue ICBC points to when discussing the increase of collisions in British Columbia.

Currently, ICBC is facing a $1.3 billion financial loss. Some say loss is due to a surge in car accident claims with increasingly expensive price tags. In 2017, 350,000 crashes let to claims totalling $4.8 billion. Broken down, that is 960 crashes and $13 million per day in 2017.

Keeping pets loose in vehicle can increase car accident risk

Whether it's an occasional trip to the vet or a daily drive together, most people travel with their pets in the car from time to time. However, many do not take the correct precautions to avoid a car accident when travelling with an animal. According to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), a safety device is critical to secure pets can prevent distractions and save the pet in case of a collision.

According to a recent ICBC survey, only half of British Columbia pet owners own a safety device. Cat owners were more likely to own one at 85 percent, while only 45 percent of dog guardians had such a device. Of those dog owners who do own a safety restraint, only 55 percent say they always use the device.

Are you a Canada Day drunk driving accident victim?

The arrival of summer, along with the Canada Day long weekend likely brought celebratory moods to many people in British Columbia. Because this typically goes along with alcohol use, the police teamed up with ICBC ahead of the weekend to enhance enforcement of campaigns like CounterAttack that aim to limit impaired driving. Every impaired driver that is stopped can prevent someone from being a car accident victim -- making the efforts of law enforcement worth their while.

Traffic safety authorities say an average of 730 crashes occurs across British Columbia on Canada Day every year -- some of them fatal. They urge people not to get into a vehicle with an impaired driver, reminding them of the potential consequences. Those who survive drunk driving accidents often suffer life-long financial and physical trauma.

Car accident prompts warning about summer and motorcycles

A Burnaby RCMP statement used a recent crash as an example to remind motorists to take care on the roads. It says the warmer weather in British Columbia encourages bikers to get their motorcycles out after months of storage. It also warns that both motorcyclists and vehicle operators must not forget about the posted speed limits, and it added that motorists must remain vigilant and always expect the unexpected. This reminder followed a car accident that also involved a motorcycle.

Reportedly, the collision occurred shortly before 5 p.m. on a recent Saturday in a Burnaby intersection. Although the accident is still under investigation, a preliminary report indicates that a southbound motorcycle crashed into a car. The impact caused the biker to be ejected from the bike. The victim was rushed to a hospital with serious injuries. It was later reported that the motorcyclist's injuries might be life-threatening.

ICBC benefits can help after a debilitating car accident

Anyone in British Columbia who is insured with the Insurance Company of British Columbia may find comfort in knowing that their damages will likely be covered, regardless of who was at fault. However, what about someone who is left debilitated by a car accident? This is where the ICBC total disability benefits come in -- also called Part 7 benefits. The severity of the injuries will determine to which benefits an accident victim is entitled.

Although the benefits cover medical expenses that include therapeutic services and assistance aids, the ICBC will only pay for what it regards as reasonable. This might lead to some claims being challenged. Part 7 benefits also provide coverage of rehabilitative services such as a wheelchair, home care and the costs of altering a home to accommodate the victim's handicap.

What You Need to Know About Boat Safety

Warmer weather means that more British Columbians want to be outside. With the ocean and so many rivers and lakes at our disposal, chances are good that you’ll find yourself on the water at least once this summer.

Whether you like kayaking, canoeing, or prefer to have an motor on your boat, the need to exercise caution is critical. While boating can be a wonderful experience, it also has the potential to result in spinal injury, brain injury, and other devastating consequences.

What You Need To Know About Traumatic Spinal Cord Injuries: Part 2

For people living with a traumatic spinal cord injury and those who love them, understanding the scope of the situation and knowing what to expect can be complicated. From understanding the care and treatment process to learning about research and trials, being armed with the right information can be empowering and essential.


What You Need To Know About Traumatic Spinal Cord Injuries: Part 1

There are 86,000 people living with spinal cord injuries in Canada and by 2030, projections estimate there will be 35,000 more. Given that spinal cord injuries do not discriminate and can affect anyone, it is important to understand what is involved.


Protecting Youth Against Preventable Brain Injury This Summer

As the days grow longer and the sun shines brighter, the natural inclination is to spend more time outdoors. Between summer sports and social gatherings, there’s no shortage of activities to participate in.

Unfortunately, with the rising temperatures comes plenty of situations that could result in a catastrophic injury. When it comes to keeping youth safe, awareness can go a long way.

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