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DrivingSafety

Canada Day Long Weekend: Safe Driving Tips to Keep You and Your Family Secure

Canada Day Safety

The Canada Day long weekend is a much-anticipated time for many Canadians, offering a chance to celebrate, relax, and spend time with loved ones. However, with the increased traffic and heightened police presence, it’s also a time to be extra vigilant on the roads. To ensure you have a smooth and safe journey, Higgins Insurance has compiled a comprehensive list of 15 essential safe driving tips, as shared by Sgt. Evan Scott from the Kennebecasis Regional Police Force. By following these tips, you can avoid traffic headaches, prevent accidents, and ensure your holiday remains joyous and incident-free.

1. Plan Your Departure Strategically

To avoid the mass exodus that often occurs during long weekends, consider leaving earlier or later than the typical rush hours. This simple adjustment can significantly reduce your time spent in traffic and minimize stress on the road.

2. Adjust Your Expectations

Accept that what might normally be a two-hour drive could easily turn into three hours or more due to increased traffic. Patience is key to maintaining a calm and safe driving environment.

3. Choose Less Traveled Routes

Instead of taking major highways, opt for smaller, less congested roads. Not only will you encounter less traffic, but you’ll also be treated to some scenic views that you might otherwise miss.

4. Rest Well Before Driving

Fatigue can impair your driving ability and lead to poor decision-making. Ensure you are well-rested before embarking on a long drive to maintain optimal focus and alertness.

5. Buckle Up

Always wear your seatbelt and ensure that all passengers do the same. Seatbelts are your first line of defense in the event of a collision.

6. Stay Informed About Traffic Conditions

Listen to traffic reports before you leave and while on the road. If necessary, adjust your route to avoid any accidents or significant delays.

7. Have Multiple Route Options

Plan your primary route in advance and have a “Plan B” and “Plan C” ready in case of unexpected traffic jams or road closures.

8. Give Emergency Personnel Space

If you encounter an accident or emergency vehicles on the road, slow down and move over to give them the space they need. This is not only courteous but also a legal requirement that comes with hefty fines for non-compliance.

9. Practice Patience

Anticipate traffic and avoid aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding and tailgating. These actions increase your risk of getting a ticket or causing an accident.

10. Avoid Distractions

Put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode, let your passengers handle the music, and avoid eating while driving. Staying focused on the road is crucial, especially during busy travel times.

11. Schedule Rest Stops

Long drives can be tiring. Plan for at least one rest stop to stretch your legs, refresh your mind, and keep your journey pleasant and safe.

12. Maintain Safe Following Distances

Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. This gives you more time to react to sudden stops or changes in traffic flow.

13. Use Signals When Changing Lanes

Always signal your intentions when changing lanes to inform other drivers and reduce the risk of collisions.

14. Avoid Driving Under the Influence

Never drive if you have consumed alcohol or drugs. Arrange for a designated driver if you plan on drinking during your celebrations.

15. Plan Your Return Trip

Just as you prepare for your departure, plan your return trip to ensure it is as smooth and safe as possible. Consider traffic patterns and rest needs just as diligently.

Bonus Tips from Sgt. Scott

1. Don’t Speed, Especially in Construction Zones
Adhere to speed limits and be extra cautious in construction zones, where speeding fines can be significantly higher.

2. Don’t Use Your Mobile Phone While Driving
Using your phone while driving is a major distraction. Put it away and focus entirely on the road.

3. Don’t Drink and Drive
Alcohol impairs your ability to drive safely. Always have a sober designated driver if you plan to drink.

4. Don’t Drive While Sleepy
Fatigue can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. If you feel sleepy, take a break or switch drivers.

5. Keep Your Vehicle Well-Maintained
Ensure your car is in good working order with up-to-date maintenance and safety inspections. This reduces the risk of breakdowns and accidents.

Conclusion

This Canada Day long weekend, prioritize safety above all else. Not only will following these tips help keep your car insurance rates low, but more importantly, they will ensure you and your loved ones arrive at your destination safely. From all of us at Higgins Insurance, have a happy and safe Canada Day!

For more driving tips and insurance advice, visit our blog or contact our team at Higgins Insurance. We’re here to help you stay safe on the road all year round.