As the season of long weekends draws to a close, there are two things you can bank on as Canadians try to enjoy the last few days of summer: traffic (and lots of it) and a heavy police presence on the roads watching out for drivers who are impaired, distracted, behaving aggressively, or not wearing their seat belts.
Don’t get caught this Labour Day long weekend…in traffic or by police with these 15 long weekend safe driving tips.
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Avoid traffic headaches and traffic tickets this long weekend
- If you want to avoid the mass exodus, plan to leave earlier or later than everyone else.
- Accept that what’s typically a two hour drive may be three hours (or more).
- Look for less travelled routes. Major highways are everyone’s route of choice; try some of the smaller highways. In addition to less traffic, you’ll also be treated to some beautiful scenery.
- Only head out on the long drive when you’re well rested. Driver fatigue can result in poor driving decisions.
- Buckle up and make sure everyone in the car does too.
- Listen to traffic reports before you leave and while on the road, and make changes to your route as needed.
- Plan your route ahead of time, and have a “Plan B” and “Plan C” just in case there’s a collision that causes traffic to come to a slow crawl.
- If there is a collision on route, give emergency personnel the space they need. Slow down and move over when passing stopped police, ambulance, fire trucks, or tow trucks with flashing lights on; it’s the law and comes with hefty fines if ignored.
- Be patient because there will be traffic. Driving aggressively—speeding and tailgating—will only improve your chances of, at best, getting a ticket and, at worst, causing a collision.
- Don’t drive distracted. Put your phones on “Do Not Disturb,” let your passengers select the music, and if you get peckish eat at a rest stop.
- Budget time on your road trip for at least one rest stop to stretch your legs.
- Leave a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you.
- Always signal before you change lanes.
- Don’t drive while alcohol or drug impaired. Always have a designated driver if you’ve partaken in either.
- Unfortunately, all long weekends have to come to a close. As much as you might plan and prepare to get to where you want to go, don’t forget to do the same for the return home.
On this last long weekend of the summer, take care when getting to where you want to go because it’s about more than just keeping your car insurance rates low, it’s about arriving at your destination safely.