Can you believe that we’re already coming to the last long weekend of the summer? It feels like just a week ago we were all saying “I’m so happy that summer has finally arrived”. Being the last long weekend of the summer, do you think that drivers become less aware of their surroundings? Are they worse drivers? What we do know is that there are A LOT of people on the roads, taking their families on road trips to the cottage, camping, and other events and attractions. We want you to be safe this Labour Day long weekend. As we look ahead and prepare for the coming school year, here are 6 tips to keep you and your loved ones safe on the roads.
1. Make sure that you’re well rested.
If you’re tired, DO NOT drive. Either pull over and take a quick nap, or let your significant other drive and catch some shut-eye in the passenger seat. The consequences of falling asleep while driving can be disastrous, and it’s not worth the risk. Tired drivers also often make bad judgements. Consider it a form of impairment. You wouldn’t drive drunk. Don’t drive tired!
2. Follow all traffic signals and speed limits
Go with the flow of the traffic. Don’t be that one person weaving in and out of traffic in order to “make better time”, or the slow poke jamming up traffic. Both types of drivers are major causes of collisions. Keep in mind that the police will be out to ensure that everyone is obeying all speed limits and laws.
3. Stay focuses, and turn your phone off (or put it on mute)
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of collisions these days. If you absolutely must make a phone call or read or send a text message, pull over. Anything that takes your full concentration away from the road should be dealt with before continuing to drive. Also, check out some of the apps that automatically reply to text messages, telling the sender that you’re driving and will reply to their text later.
4. Stay sober!
If you plan on drinking, make sure that your celebrations include a designated driver. Impaired driving of any sort is NOT tolerated. If you think that you might have had too much to drink to be able to drive, you’ve already answered your own question. It’s not worth the risk of losing your license, or worse yet, hurting yourself, a love one, or someone else on the roads.
5. Consider all traffic and road conditions
Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicles in front of you. If it’s raining, extend the distance between the vehicles. Avoid hitting the gas or brakes too hard that could cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Drive defensively, and be extra careful in bad weather. If the weather is bad, don’t rush. Plan to leave slightly earlier and allow for some extra stops.
6. Inspect your vehicle
Before leaving on your road trip, take some extra time to check your vehicle’s fluid levels, wipers, tire pressure, and tread wear. Also don’t forget to bring your jumper cables, blankets, batteries, flashlight, radio, first aid kit, and some non-perishable foods like bottled water, nuts, and granola bars.