Going for a trip? Moving from one house to another? Buckle up—you’re in for a long drive. And while most of us envision getting some much needed peace on the road while blasting music on our car stereo, the thrill of the ride doesn’t lessen the possibilities of danger.
While such circumstances remain out of our control, road safety measures and tips for driving safely exist so we can do our best to avoid untoward driving incidents, or mitigate the damage if something does happen to us.
The Importance of Road Safety
Road safety should be a common practice in driving. You can’t predict car accidents but these can be minimized with the right preparations. Besides protecting yourself and other drivers, you have a social and moral responsibility to keep pedestrians and by-standers safe —wherever in Canada or the world you may be.
Here are other reasons why you need to keep safe on the road:
- Car accidents mean extra costs to you
Getting involved in a car accident will badly hurt your budget depending on the damage your car gets. Spend less on vehicle repair costs by keeping yourself safe on the road. Some car companies provide damage insurance for your car while others don’t. It’s still better to be safe than spending money for unexpected repairs.
- You avoid harming yourself and others
Car accidents can result in death or grave injury. Depending on the intensity of the accident, you might end up in jail for breaking the law. You’ll surely end up hiring an attorney to help you defend yourself in court hearings.
These hearings can drag on for a very long time especially when someone died in the accident. It will cost you more money and make a huge dent on your savings.
- Post-accident to-dos are not a walk in the park
Aside from the repairs, there are many things that you need to do after a car crash. You need to recover from your injuries and trauma regardless of its scale. You also need to contact your car dealer and use the car’s insurance.
If you’re badly hurt in the accident, you can ask for compensation that could go a long way. Getting involved in a car accident makes you realize how important road safety is for you and other people.
- You keep everyone safe…and alive
When you keep your eyes on the road, you’re keeping everyone and yourself safe from any accident. No deaths and serious injuries will happen when you drive safely. Put human life first above everything when it comes to driving.
Long Drive? Here’s How to Stay Safe on the Road
Love it or hate it—long drives have become an essential part in a car owner’s life. Whether it’s heading to your summer vacation spot, visiting your parents during the winter holidays, or just travelling for business, the long drive to and fro is something we need to prepare for. So we’ve listed 14 important tips to ensure you have a safe driving experience.
- Check the Weather
Weather plays a huge factor in every adventure or activity that you want to do. Knowing the weather for the next few days allows you to prepare for all the things you need. Summers in Canada give you a smoother ride than winter. Make sure you can navigate the roads in both seasons.
- Do a Checkup
Check other parts of your car, such as the wipers, brakes, airbags, seats, and many others. Replace any part that doesn’t work immediately to avoid malfunction. Have your vehicle tuned up to know if it’s running well.
Winter driving in Canada can be tough. There’s ice on the road, and the distance between auto service stations can take you hours to travel to and from. Checking your car will help you know the condition and do some preventive maintenance. Lastly, always fill the tanks with gas. You surely won’t like the idea of running out of gas in the middle of nowhere.
- Prepare an Emergency Kit
Make sure that you have an emergency kit tucked somewhere inside your car. Prepare gauze, bandages, alcohol, betadine, flashlight, batteries, chargers, and many others. Non-perishable food like biscuits and granola bars come in handy when you’re hungry during the long drive. Always check the expiration date, so you can stack it in your emergency kit.
Keep a few copies of your emergency plan and roadmaps. Your GPS might malfunction in the middle of winter, and that’s when roadmaps come in handy. The emergency plan should be feasible and understandable for your passengers. Should you encounter an accident along the way, your emergency plan provides a clear explanation on what to do.
- Bring Another Person Who Drives
For long drives, bringing another person who knows how to drive is a blessing. You have someone to replace you when you’re sleepy. Have a set schedule for driving so each one can take turns behind the wheel. If you’re the only person driving in the entire trip, prepare yourself for an exhausting driving duty.
- Buckle Up
No matter where you are inside the car, it’s best to put on your seatbelt before hitting the road. These can save you from a potentially fatal car crash. With a seatbelt on, you’re guaranteed to remain seated should you find the need to suddenly step on the brakes.
- Do Not Be Distracted
In Canada, distracted driving accounts for 21% of all fatal collisions. It can be due to talking to passengers, trying to the right position of the GPS, or texting and taking calls while driving.
No amount of driving experience can spare you from accidents if you keep on getting distracted. To avoid getting distracted while driving:
- Minimize talking to others when you’re driving. For this, you might need to put your good hearing to use. You can answer important questions without turning your head to the person you’re talking to.
- Put your full attention on the road. If there’s anything that you need to do, pull up on the side of the road. Eating while driving is also a no-no. Just focus on driving to keep you and your passengers safe.
- Follow Traffic Signs
Traffic road signs help drivers know when to stop and go. Always follow the signs and drive at the recommended speed limit at every point. Going beyond the speed limit won’t do you any good at all and might just earn you tickets from traffic enforcers.
- Keep a Safe Distance
Vehicles standing close to each other are common when the roads are congested in traffic. When driving, a safe distance from another vehicle before you will spare you from inconvenience. Bumping into another car surely leads to a fight later on. Use your car horns wisely when other vehicles are inching closer to yours.
- Yield to Pedestrians
Stop when you see people crossing the street without disregarding the traffic rules. You should also watch out for people who cross the street out of nowhere. This can lead to a deadly accident if you’re not alert enough. People riding bicycles should be given consideration as well.
- Manage Your Anger
Some drivers and other unexpected circumstances cut you off without any warning. Of course, no one wants that and the instant reaction is getting angry. Instead of going on a full on road rage, manage your anger to keep your passengers safe. Anger has serious consequences when you’re on the road. Keep calm in any situation while driving.
- Take Breaks
Being sleepy while driving in the middle of the road will put you in danger. It takes your concentration away. Pull up on the side of the road and take a power nap if you find yourself yawning almost every minute. If you can, get a good sleep before driving to recharge and boost your energy.
- Beware of Ice and Wild Animals
Observing safety measures while driving in the winter cannot be understated. Thick ice can cover entire roads during winter, which decreases the visibility of your immediate surroundings. Make sure to turn on your headlights to spot ice and wild animals and avoid these at all costs.
Drive slowly through thick ice and always use your windshield wiper to see the road. You need to be seen by other drivers when you’re in danger. Pull up on the side of the road when you feel that driving further is dangerous. Get all the help you need in case of emergency.
- Purchase Insurance
This is a good option especially when you’re renting a car for a vacation. Check if your credit card can cover accidents when you use the rental car. You can also purchase rental insurance to keep you covered on your trip in case of any accident. There will be limitations to car insurance coverages, but it’s better than nothing. Prepare some extra cash in case your rental car doesn’t have insurance.
- Check Your Tires
You might overlook your tires, but these can put you at risk if left unchecked. Perform a regular checkup on your tires to see the damages. Check the air pressure as well. Improper inflation can eventually damage the tires.
Look closely at your tire to see the cracks and tears on your tires. If there are any, replace the damaged tire with your spare one. Even your spare tires need to be checked too. These can be worn and damaged when left alone for a long time.
Just like you with your most compatible road trip playlist, your vehicle also needs tires that are most compatible with it. Take your time to check the numbers and letters on the tire’s sidewalls to know what kind to use. Always buy high-quality tires to save money for other purposes.
Looking for Tires in Hamilton, Burlington, and Stoney Creek?
Look no further! Round & Around Tire Inc. has a wide selection of brand new and used Canadian tires. Just reach out to our staff in choosing the right tires for your adventure and daily needs. We’ll be happy to assist you.
Call us at (905) 393-8474 to get assistance, request a quote, or have your tires changed.