Spring road trip safety tips

March 26, 2013

Spring weekends are perfect for getting out of town and enjoying the open road after a long, cold winter.

But while you might be in a hurry to get away, remember that safety should never take a backseat. The following tips will help you stay safe, focused and calm on the roads.

Stay Calm Behind the Wheel

  • Plan ahead. Allow yourself enough travel time so that you are not in a rush.
  • Observe and obey the speed limit. Obeying the speed limit will ensure proper traffic flow.
  • Identify alternate routes. Try to find routes that will enable you to avoid traffic congestion on busier roads.
  • Just be late. Being late for work or an appointment is better than endangering your life or the life of someone else.
  • Drive sober. Never drink and drive. Never drive while impaired by drugs or fatigue.
  • Keep the kids content. With young children, take regular stops and bring plenty of items to keep them occupied.
  • Don't let traffic congestion get to you. Keep in mind that traffic congestion is often a regular part of driving and is best handled with a calm attitude.

Stay Alert, Stay Sober

  • Eliminate distractions. Put the cellphone in your trunk if you need to, so that you aren’t tempted to text and drive.
  • Sleep. Make sure you get enough sleep before your drive.
  • Pull over. If you're feeling tired while driving, pull over to a safe place and take a nap or perhaps spend the night in a hotel.
  • Be cautious. If you suspect someone else is driving drowsy on the road, keep alert, drive courteously and don't get angry.

Protect Yourself from Aggressive Drivers

  • Don't take it personally. Be polite, even if the other driver is not. If another driver challenges you, take a deep breath and move out of the way.
  • Keep your eyes on the road. Don't provoke an aggressive driver further by making negative eye contact or gesturing. Show them they can't distract you from driving safely.
  • Always be a courteous driver. Set an example for other drivers by always being courteous and driving defensively.
  • Take all safety measures possible. Make sure everyone is properly buckled up.

Take Action! You Can Prevent Aggressive Driving

  • Report incidents of aggressive driving. If your safety, or the safety of someone around you, is being threatened by an aggressive driver, contact the police.
  • Set an example for younger passengers. Children are keenly observant. Educating them at an early age through your actions will teach them the importance of being courteous.

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For more information, please contact:

Catherine Benesch

Communications/Media Program Coordinator, Canada Safety Council

 (613) 739-1535 (ext. 228)