Travelling in the family vehicle for extended periods of time can test the patience and attention of even the most experienced drivers. These distractions may not only cause you to get a ticket, but they could cause you to be involved in an accident on the road. Below are 5 tips to avoid distractions while driving.
Do your multi-tasking outside the car.
Everyone spends a lot of time in their vehicles, and it may seem like the perfect time to get little things done: calling friends, searching for music, or programming a GPS. Instead, get everything settled before you start driving, so you can focus on the road and the drivers around you.
Do not use your cell phone while driving.
While you're driving, a cell phone should only be used for emergency purposes. Even then, it's best to pull over safely to the shoulder to make a call. Make a habit of thinking about what calls or texts you need to send, or what information you might need during your trip ahead of time. For example, program your GPS at the outset, and make any necessary calls or texts before setting out.
Make sure children and pets are secured in their seats.
It is extremely important to take care of your child’s car seat and seat belt before the car begins moving. Pets should also be securely fastened for their safety, and so that they can’t distract you while you’re behind the wheel. Prepare children with everything they need prior to driving, as reaching into the backseat can cause you to lose control of the vehicle. If they need your attention during your trip, pull off the road safely to care for them.
Avoid eating while driving.
Food spills are a major cause of distraction while driving. Finishing your breakfast on the way to work may seem like a time-saver, but it means at least one of your hands is occupied and you are less attentive to the drivers around you. Eat before you leave your destination or stop at a safe place to enjoy your meal.
If you are drowsy, pull off the road.
Driver fatigue is a contributing factor in a high percentage of accidents. If you start to feel drowsy, find yourself drifting out of your lane, or struggling to keep your eyes open, find a safe place to pull over and as soon as possible. When you’re driving for long periods of time, take a break at least once every 2 hours. Taking regular breaks allows you to maintain your focus and helps manage your fatigue level.
Do you have plans to enjoy time on the water this season? The key to a great day out at sea is keeping safe while having fun. Follow these tips to help prevent accidents and enjoy boating safely with your friends and family.
- PFD’s and Lifejackets
Everyone on board must be wearing a Canadian-approved PFD or Lifejacket. And remember, they only work when they are worn! Having one close by won’t protect you in the event of accident or injury on the water.
- Check your safety gear
Be sure your safety gear is in good working order before you head out. You are required by law to carry safety equipment in your boat, ensure your equipment complies with the national standards so that you’ll be well prepared on the water.
- Be mindful of changes in weather
A change in weather such as the clouds darkening, the temperature dropping, or a change in wind speed can be a sign that extreme or unsafe weather may be approaching. Monitor the local weather forecast before going out on the water to ensure you’re not at risk. Always ensure that you have someone at home who knows your planned route for the day.
You can learn more about boating safety and national standards from The Canadian Red Cross.