Driving Safety Tips Help Prevent Accidents

Edited by Admin
Driving Safety Tips Help Prevent Accidents

Driving Safety Tips

In Ontario last year, more than 62,000 drivers were involved in motor vehicle accidents causing personal injury or fatality. Many of these accidents were caused by driver error or unsafe driving practices. Experts recommend being aware of your own driving style and learning more about how you can help to prevent accidents. For your consideration, here are some driving safety tips:

  • Drive sober. Impaired driving is one of the leading causes of death in Canada. Don’t drive when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Ever.
  • Be alert. Never drive when you’re fatigued – it’s comparable to driving after you have been drinking or using drugs. A tired driver has a slower reaction time, and you also risk falling asleep behind the wheel. Don’t set out if you haven’t had enough sleep, or if you find yourself becoming sleepy, find a place to rest. (Also: don’t forget to prepare yourself for the change from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time in the spring when clocks “spring forward.”)
  • Make adjustments first. Before putting the car into gear, adjust the heat or air conditioning, select the music you want, and make sure the mirrors and seats are in the right position.
  • Slow down. Many accidents are caused by speeding drivers. Drive within posted speed limits – these limits are designed to keep drivers safe and to control the flow of traffic. Always leave early enough to arrive at your destination on time and obey speed limits!
  • Get rid of distractions. Put your cell phone away where you can’t access it while driving. Plan your route before leaving. Eat before you leave or after you arrive – eating and drinking is one of the most common causes of driver error. If you drop something, don’t try to pick it up while driving. Don’t try to apply makeup or do your hair while on the road. Keep children or pets fully restrained and pull over to deal with any problems they may be having. Distracted driving has become a major cause of accidents in recent years – remember that your eyes should be on the road!
  • Avoid road rage. Recognize that people make mistakes such as failing to signal or cutting you off, and deal with these types of frustrations calmly. Yelling or gesturing only escalates the situation and solves nothing.
  • Don’t tailgate. Leave enough room between your vehicle and the car in front of you so that you’ll be prepared in case they need to stop suddenly. If the weather or road conditions are poor, leave extra room.
  • Know the rules of the road. Know what to do at four-way stops, when turning on a street with bike lanes, which lane to turn into, or when to use the passing lane. If you need to brush up on your knowledge, obtain information from the Ontario Ministry of Transport.
  • Beware of blind spots. Position your mirrors properly so that you see the maximum amount of the road, but also be aware of where the blind spots are on your vehicle and check before making a turn or lane change.
  • Signal. Let other drivers know when you’re turning, exiting a traffic circle, or making a lane change. Give them plenty of notice before turning and turn the blinker off afterward. Other drivers can’t read your mind; they need to know your intentions.
  • Clear the snow. It’s Canada – be prepared to clean snow and ice from your car. Don’t be one of those people who clear only a tiny hole on the driver’s side, turning themselves into a winter driving hazard.
  • Don’t hog the passing lane. Get out of the passing lane as quickly as is safe. You impede traffic flow if you remain in the lane at slower speeds.
  • Merge properly. Many drivers get impatient and refuse to let others squeeze in ahead of them. Don’t be one of these people – you may need someone to return the favour someday soon. When you’re merging onto a highway, try to get up to highway speed reasonably quickly to avoid being rear-ended.
  • Don’t weave in and out of traffic. It’s not a video game. Unless you have a good reason, choose a lane and stay in it.
  • Don’t ride the brakes. If you leave enough room between you and the vehicle ahead of you, you can control your speed by easing off the accelerator when necessary.
  • Wear your seatbelt. Buckle up. That way if you do get into an accident, you’ll be less likely to be seriously injured. Make sure that all children are buckled into appropriate car seats.
  • Pay attention to the weather. If visibility is reduced, or if the roads are icy, adjust your driving accordingly. You may need to slow down, leave more space between vehicles, or allow more time for travelling. Don’t use cruise control; don’t pass a snowplow; beware of slippery conditions on bridges. Consider getting off the road if conditions worsen.


Driving with care and attention could save your life. Put safety first!