Top Ten Road Safety Tips
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
The Canadian Safety Council estimates that 85 per cent of road collisions are preventable. This shows how much responsibility Canadian drivers bear when they get behind the wheel.
- Choose someone that abstains from alcohol and drugs to drive you home after parties. MADD Canada has found that about 40 per cent of all car accidents involve a driver impaired by alcohol and drugs, and that about 4 deaths and 175 injuries a day result from driver impairment. Make sure that your designated driver abstains completely, or alternatively pay a relative to drive you home.
- Fatigue is a major form of impairment. If you take long road trips this summer, take frequent breaks to stretch your legs, drink some coffee, enjoy a snack and run around with the kids.
- Wear a seatbelt, buckle up your kids and strap your infants into firmly fixed car seats. The seven per cent of Canadians who do not wear seat belts account for about 40 per cent of accident fatalities.
- Slow down, calm down and be patient. Listen to music, sing along with the family or do whatever relaxes you. About 22% of Canadian car accident fatalities can be directly attributed to speeding. Speeding vehicles simply cannot respond to hazards in time.
- Eliminate distractions. Pull off if you want to consult a map, discipline the kids, do your hair, choose a CD, surf the internet, or speak on the phone. Program the GPS before you leave home. Distracted driving is a direct cause of up to 30 per cent of all collisions, and a contributing factor in as many as 80 per cent of them.
- Obey signs and lights at intersections. 20 per cent of the deaths on Canadian roads result from a disregard of signs and lights at intersections.
- Leave a three second following distance, and increase this when you are driving on slippery roads.
- Look out for animals, especially around dawn and dusk. In the last ten years the number of Canadian drivers who hit wildlife annually has doubled to over 60,000. These accidents cost the insurance industry and road users $4 million per year.
- Look out for bicycles and motorcycles, especially during the summer months. They are nowhere near as well protected as you are behind your metal frame, seat belt and airbags, so you can kill them even at a low speed.
- Cut out unnecessary lane changes. It will not get you home sooner and you simply increase the chance of an accident.
The consequences of an accident can be tragic, so do whatever you can to prevent your family from becoming statistics.