Safe Driving Tips and Reminders for the Long WeekendMay 14, 2018
It’s an important long weekend for driving as the National Road Safety Week kicks off on May 15 and runs through until May 21.
Ready to kick-off the first long weekend and “unofficial” start of summer? Although summer does not officially begin until June 21, the May long weekend is traditionally when Canadians embrace the summer lifestyle with a road trip, a visit to the cottage or a jaunt to the local nursery to pick up flowers for the garden. And with so many drivers expected to take to the roads, it’s no accident then that National Road Safety Week, which begins on May 15 and runs through until May 21 this year, coincides with the start of the summer driving season.
Ten driving tips and reminders for the long weekend
There are two things that all long weekends have in common: traffic and an increased police presence on the roads. Get ready for the drive and protect your car insurance rate with these long weekend safe driving tips and reminders:
- Put your vehicle to the test
Before hitting the road, make sure your vehicle is ready to handle the course. Check that all your lights and signals are functioning, make sure to top up your car’s fluids if low, ensure that your tire pressure is at the recommended level, and remember to bring an emergency safety kit on your trip.
- Gather all your car-related documents
Make sure you always have your driver’s licence, insurance documents, vehicle ownership and registration with you when driving, no matter how long or short the trip.
- Drive only when rested
Whether it’s a half-an-hour drive or a few hours, you should only be driving when you’re well rested. Of all collisions in Canada, 20 per cent are said to be caused by drowsy driving, so get your night’s rest before you head out.
- Wear your seatbelt
Before you turn on your car, the first thing you should do is put your seatbelt on and make sure everyone else does too.
- Find your route
A good way to save time is to check which routes are less travelled so that you don’t spend too much time stuck in traffic. Applications such as Google Maps and Waze predict traffic congestion before they happen and will recommend which way you should go.
- Set your GPS to your route and listen to traffic reports
Once you’ve selected your route and before embarking on your trip, set your GPS to your destination. Then, check if there are any delays or accidents along your way by tuning in to local radio stations.
- Maintain your cool
If you find yourself stuck in traffic, it’s best to stay patient. It will clear at some point. When you do eventually get out of the traffic jam, don’t try to make up the time spent by speeding or tailgating. Driving aggressively will only improve your chances of getting a ticket or causing a collision.
- Give right-of-way to emergency personnel
If there is an accident where police and emergency personnel are on scene, remember to give them the space they need by slowing down and safely switching lanes.
- Tune out the distractions
Whether it’s your GPS, your phone or your coffee, don’t drive distracted. Police will be keeping a watch on drivers that are driving distracted during road safety week, and tickets will result in hefty fines, demerit points, and likely an increase to your auto insurance premium.
- Don’t drive impaired
It should be clear to never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, around 72,000 Canadians still drive impaired each year, whether from alcohol or drugs. If you’re in any way impaired, never get behind the wheel and instead have a designated driver.
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