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Road Works & Car Damage

Protect Your Vehicle

A huge construction project is beginning right in the middle of the daily Victoria commute

The Province of B.C. and the Government of Canada are investing $85 million in the development and construction of the McKenzie Interchange Project, a new interchange on the Trans-Canada Highway at the Intersection with Admirals Road and McKenzie Avenue in Saanich. The intersection is the number one bottleneck on Vancouver Island. The project will help improve traffic flow in the Capital Regional District, while reducing collisions and improving pedestrian and cyclist safety. And while the end result of this construction project will be extremely beneficial, the process is hazardous and costly to the commuter. Stone chips, gravel rash on the front hood and fenders, gouged rims, lower rocker panels and door bottoms, loosened bearings from un-even road shock, and dust/construction particle accumulation on the vehicle all lend to costly repairs.

Are there any steps to protect your vehicle while commuting?

If you have nice car, it can be nerve wracking to drive it when there is heavy construction without protecting it first. Using a paint protection film can help with the aesthetic protection of your vehicle. These strong protective films are virtually invisible. Wrapping the front end of the vehicle can help you protect your investment and your peace of mind. If you commute to and from Victoria everyday for work or recreation, you will be passing a congested construction zone for an entire year. Saving the money from even one insurance deductible will make it worth while to take this preventative step.

Tips for Avoiding Damage

  1. Switch to the lane opposite to the construction to be farther away from gravel and debris;
  2. DO NOT go through an automatic car wash to remove debris. The automatic car wash is not designed to clear off materials from road construction and you may end up scraping up your car from the revolving sponges. Wash it by hand or bring it to someone to detail if for you.
  3. When traveling in a construction zone, slow down. Higher speeds in construction zones are hazardous for several reasons. Primarily, the vehicle can kick up a great deal of damaging debris. Secondly, if there are potholes or low and soft shoulders, which blend into the road, hitting them at high speeds are quite likely to damage your vehicle.

If your vehicle is damaged from a road under construction who is liable?

It is a bit of a finger pointing nightmare to determine who is ultimately responsible for damages caused to a vehicle during road construction. Why?  First you have the city who is performing the work. The buck will pass to the province who funds the road construction projects, who will either pass the buck back down to the local level or ask you to have your insurer file a claim with them. It is a bunch of red tape to be honest. There are no publicly available numbers for the denial rate of claims related to road damage due to construction, but it would stand to reason that only in unusual circumstances would the province pay damages. The BC government says that you should work through your insurance company to have a claim made against the province. You can read all about it right here.

To mitigate this risk, local drivers should minimize the risk of damage (both aesthetic and functional) to the vehicle. Here are some ways in which to avoid such damages:

  1. Increase the space between you and other drivers when commuting through a road construction site. This will minimize the risk of having gravel and other debris being flung on your car. Additionally, it will allow you to see any hazards (such as potholes) which lay ahead of you with enough time to compensate for that hazard.
  2. Ensure that your tires have the proper air pressure and that the treads are not worn. The stop and go of traffic, especially in a construction zone, wears on the treads. Should a vehicle already have worn treads, it may cause the tires to tear. Hitting a pothole or running off of a shoulder with low pressure in your tire could cause it to blow out. The NBPC has stated that approximately 23,000 collisions are the result of a blowout, many of which could have been avoided with proper maintenance of the vehicle.
  3. Have a protective film applied to your vehicle to lower the risk of damage to the bumpers, hood, mirrors and other areas which are prone to damage from road construction projects. Diversity Auto Films offer such protection with a wide range of packages and coverage options.

Road construction is inevitable, but damage? No.

To take a preventative measure you can dig into your options for paint protection films by checking out our services pages, or giving us a call to talk about what is available to you. If your vehicle has already incurred damage and you need a fix, you can try to file a claim through the province or work with a local repair shop to fix your damage before having protective films applied to avoid future damage. It looks like we are in for the long haul with this construction project, so let’s try to get out of it with as little damage as possible.

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