Summer driving season is here. Holidays, staycations and road trips; all reasons for extra time spent on the road and could make you more relaxed about your driving habits. You need to always be diligent when behind the wheel. Here are some timely safety topics and tips to help get you from point A to point B safely:
Avoid Distracted Driving
You know what distracted driving is – texting, talking on your phone, setting the GPS, even drinking a coffee or eating while driving. It can cost you more than just a fine.
In Ontario, deaths from collisions caused by distracted driving have doubled since 2000.1 Ontario data collected from collisions in 2013 showed that:
- One person is injured in a distracted-driving collision every half hour.1
- A driver using a phone is 4 times more likely to crash than a driver focusing on the road. 1
These tips can help you avoid distracted driving and hopefully save your life1:
- Turn your phone off or switch it to silent mode. Better yet, put it in the glove compartment and lock it, a bag in the back seat or the trunk.
- Ask a passenger to take a phone call for you.
- Consider downloading an app that blocks distractions on your phone while driving. A Google search will bring up several.
- Ask your passenger to be the navigator or operate your GPS.
- Eat and put on makeup prior to leaving the house.
Don’t drive while impaired
The numbers from MADD Canada are startling. Their website states on average, approximately 4 people are killed each day in crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs.2 And, nearly 60 percent of fatally wounded drivers have alcohol and/or drugs in their system at the time of the accident.2
Even a couple beers at the local pub can impair driving more than you’d expect. Drivers don’t have to be drunk to be dangerous on the roads; even those who feel “buzzed” or “tipsy” pose a serious risk to themselves and others. Stay safe and call a cab, sober friend or designated driver service to take you home. Or, stay over.
Wear your seatbelt correctly
Your mother was right; wearing your seatbelt every time you drive saves lives. According to a 1997 study done by Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, wearing a seatbelt correctly reduced the chances of death in a vehicle accident by 47 per cent, and reduced the chances of serious injury even more at about 52 per cent.3
It’s simple. BUCKLE UP! If you’re not sure how to properly wear your seatbelt look in your car’s owner’s manual for instructions.
The Ontario government has more great tips on Safe and Responsible Driving on their website. Check them out here.
Driving safely has a huge impact on your vehicle’s maintenance, your chances of needing to file an insurance claim and just getting home to your family at the end of the day. Let’s all put these tips to practice and make the roads safer for everyone.