Always safe, never sorry
Working together to make our roads safer
In 2019, Alex Kelly, road safety and transportation expert, joined our team to act as our dedicated steward for road safety. We’d collaborated on safety thought-leadership before, and we both saw something unique in each other — Alex brought years of experience in the safety sector, and she was excited to see a new company advocating for road safety and awareness in Canada.
A leader in road safety, Alex has brought her unique perspective to Onlia, and is helping us forge ahead in our mission to change the way Canadians move.
Keeping drivers (and riders) safe
As a safety advocate, the goal is to help all road users stay safer: including drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. And with an average of 74 cyclist deaths every year in Canada, helping to improving cyclist safety was one of the first areas we felt we could make a positive impact.
Switchback Cyclery, a non-profit organization whose goal is to develop an inclusive and bike-friendly community in Toronto, seemed like a good place to connect with the people who are affected the most by this issue. Cyclists from around the city gathered together to share stories of close calls and bad moves on the road, and shared tips on how each of us can do our part to make the roads a safe space for all users. Riders geared up with bright lights for a night ride through the downtown core, and took to the roads to raise awareness about road safety and the importance of staying visible, especially at night.
After the ride, our cyclists shared stories and tips on how they stay safe as a community, and take safety into their own hands by claiming their space on the road and making themselves visible to drivers.
Carpool with someone funny
Navigating around others on the road can be a challenge, and quite frustrating at times. When drivers act on that frustration and lash out at other road users, it can lead to unsafe behaviour, like tailgating. With gridlock traffic and kilometres of irate commuters across the country, we wondered: if drivers were happier, would they be safer? We put our theory to the test in our aptly titled Calmedy Commute.
In a real-world, data-driven experiment, we observed the behaviours and driving patterns of commuters across the GTA on a regular day, and again when they listened to a specially curated playlist comprised of some of our favourite comedians. Turns out, being happy really does make you safer: drivers were 10% less likely to accelerate aggressively, maximum speeds went down by more than 5 km/hr, and distracted driving decreased by an incredible 66%.
Is laughter the best medicine for curing road rage? We certainly saw positive results here.
We’re committed to keeping you (and what you love) safe
We started the year off on a great note, launching our car insurance offering in February. Since then, we’ve been insuring drivers across Ontario, and our community of safety-first drivers continues to grow every day. From building our auto insurance product, getting our website up and running, and filling our Toronto office with team members to keep up the momentum, our team worked tirelessly to get our auto insurance off the ground – and the hard work didn’t stop when we went live.
If you’ve been with us from the beginning, you may have noticed that our website has quite a different look. We did a ton of research over the past year to learn more about how people use our website, and what works best for them. By continually looking at how our website is used — what people find helpful, and what they don't — we’re constantly improving as we go. Piece by piece, we've put together a more usable and better-looking site. If you thought it was easy to get covered before, you should see us now:
We’ve also been working on our home insurance, and we’re super excited that it’s almost ready for everyone. Our team is working their hardest to make sure it’s perfect, and we’re planning for a full release in early 2020.