The Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada congratulates Premier Kathleen Wynne and her cabinet for their emphasis on road safety in the 2013 budget.
“By encouraging Ontarians to ‘Invest in Safety,’ the Liberal government has taken a positive step towards ensuring Ontario’s roads remain among the safest in North America,” said Marc Brazeau, president and CEO, AIA Canada. “Ontarians who take voluntary steps to properly maintain their vehicles and who prepare themselves for driving in inclement weather by installing winter tires are ultimately less of a burden on the insurance system.”
Maintenance and repairs are becoming increasingly important as Canadians drive their vehicles longer. The average age of a vehicle in Canada was 9.3 years in 2011, with the average vehicle now being retired at 320,000 kilometers, according to AIA Canada’s 2012 Outlook Study.
Nevertheless, nearly 40% of all recommended light vehicle maintenance and repairs are now being postponed or abandoned altogether. Underperformed maintenance grew by 15.3% in the last two years to reach nearly $12 billion in 2010, illustrating that as Canadian families face tough economic decisions, all too often it is the periodic maintenance of their vehicle that suffers. This can lead to safety and performance issues for the general driving public and potentially higher social costs related to collisions.
Continued investment by drivers in preventative automotive maintenance has been proven to catch serious problems early, minimizing overall repair costs to consumers while reducing their risk of collision and the number and size of insurance claims. “It only makes sense to provide incentives that encourage this proactive, preventative behaviour,” noted Mr. Brazeau.
Fortunately, according to another study conducted by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, 85.6% of Canadians are prioritizing vehicle servicing and repairs. Reasons for maintaining their vehicles included avoiding large repair costs in the future, increasing family safety, enhancing environmental performance of their vehicles, and protecting its resale value.
AIA Canada has been a long-time supporter of the safer roads message and believes this aspect of the 2013 budget will help encourage Ontarians to better invest in safety.