Cottage Roads – OVERVIEW

2022FOCA’s Board Working Group is pleased to release a summary document for our Road Association members: “Starting & Building an Effective Road Association.” Login below for access to this resource, or contact the FOCA office for assistance.

Not yet a member? Here’s a brief overview document from FOCA about Road Groups to get you started. (PDF, 2 pages)

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2019 – FOCA presented results of our extensive Road Issues Survey at the Fall Seminar for Lake Associations. Members can login to download a copy of the slides:

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About Cottage Roads

Roads are very important to cottagers because at some point in the journey to and from the cottage a road is used.

FOCA can and does act as a sounding board and clearing house for general questions related to roads. Roads issues can often be specific and complex matters, and opinions or information offered by FOCA should not be considered a substitute for professional legal advice. Individual circumstances should always be confirmed with independent legal counsel or other professional input as appropriate.

If you have a personal experience regarding your cottage road please let us know as we can all learn from shared experiences. If you do not find what you are looking for in these pages you can contact the FOCA office for more information.

Be sure to peruse the links at the end of this page, for “Related Posts” on road issues.

Road Ownership Liability

Anyone who owns a road, be it private, municipal, provincial or federal, could potentially be held liable for accidents caused by the condition of the road.

Aside from carelessness, road accidents can be caused by physical imperfections and/or by driver confusion. All road conditions become worse in bad weather.

Physical imperfections are such things as:

  • Sudden and expected changes in direction and elevation
  • Unexpected narrowing or loss of shoulder
  • Sudden and unexpected changes in road surface
  • Sharp curves without appropriate grading
  • Washouts, potholes, bumps and hollows, large stones and debris on the road surface
  • Surface water, deep snow, drifted snow and ice
  • Dust, loose gravel
  • Poor bridge approach and deck maintenance and sudden changes in temperature
  • Road too narrow for the speed and volume of traffic

Driver confusion can be the result of such things as:

  • Inappropriate speed signs or the lack thereof
  • No Stop, Slow, Caution or curve signs and road/lane entrance signs
  • Poor sight lines
  • Dust, heavy rain, fog/whiteout, high winds, blowing snow
  • Lack of warning signs for washouts, ice and other dangerous conditions because of rock cuts or road narrowing

It goes without saying, that it is an impossible task to keep watch on any road 24 hours a day. A cottage or any other road may be in good condition at the end of a weekend and then become washed out and in deep fog the next day. One practical way to at least protect against the financial realities of responding to a potential lawsuit, is through liability insurance. Due diligence regarding maintenance on your private road, and carrying proper liability insurance can go a long way to protecting you against financial loss.

See our additional road resource webpages:

ImportantFOCA is delighted to offer an excellent road liability insurance program at discounted rates to our members. Developed through extensive collaboration with Cade Associates Insurance Brokers, our current program offers comprehensive coverage and enhanced limits at very competitive premium levels. Get information here…

May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door.

– Irish Blessing

Terry ReesCottage Roads – OVERVIEW