HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE YOU WERE REGULARLY BEHIND THE WHEEL? WE COULD ALL STAND TO BRUSH UP ON SAFE DRIVING PRACTICES—WE’VE GOT SOME REFRESHER TIPS.
Communities across Canada are gradually reawakening after months of self-isolation to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
With eased restrictions on non-essential travel, more of us are on the roads. According to Inrix data, in mid-June, we were already at 82 per cent of pre-COVID passenger traffic flows across Canada.
While it’s wonderful to have the freedom to visit our local merchants and see friends and family in larger numbers, public health experts caution us to continue to keep our distance from one another and wash our hands regularly. It often feels like we are re-learning how to be in the world.
The same feeling can be applied to returning to the roads. Many Canadians significantly reduced and even eliminated driving their vehicles during stay-at-home orders. Does getting behind the wheel again feel natural? Do we need to re-learn all of our safe driving habits? It certainly couldn’t hurt to run through some safety refreshers, especially when you consider the headlines of reckless drivers taking advantage of less traffic and speeding on our roadways.
Here are two checklists to help you re-orient yourself to safe driving, from one of our collaborators, the Canada Safety Council.
Preparing to drive
- Don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking alcohol or using drugs
- Buckle your seatbelt
- Adjust your mirrors
- Check your fuel level
- Turn on your headlights (if they don’t automatically come on)
- Set your GPS and music/entertainment
- Ensure children and pets are properly secured
- Follow all speed limits
- Look out for children and animals in residential areas
- Share the road with cyclists
- Pay attention to traffic signs—there might be some new ones since you last drove!
- Drive defensively—other drivers may be rusty too, so don’t assume that they’ll come to a complete stop or make the turn their turn signal indicates
- Keep a four-second space between you and the car in front of you
- When an emergency vehicle approaches, pull over to the right shoulder of the road
- Check your blind spots
- Put your phone in a bag or your glove compartment to avoid distractions
- Try not to eat, apply make-up or do anything besides driving when you’re behind the wheel
For more safe driver tips, visit the Canadian Safety Council.
We are pleased to be putting a renewed focus on the work of our road safety platform, Take Back Our Roads. The program is designed to tackle dangerous roads and school zones across Canada to reduce serious injuries and fatalities.
“We’re continuing to work with partners to create and support on-the-ground community projects that implement tangible solutions to communities’ most pressing road safety problems. We’re committed to championing the adoption of innovative safety products, initiatives and technology. And we’re using our expertise to take a data-driven approach to solving road safety issues,” said Catherine Brown, VP of Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility, Aviva Canada.
The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as professional or expert advice.