As Spring approaches, many new drivers can see the improved weather as a prime opportunity to practice their skills. Experienced drivers may see the improved weather as an opportunity to get ahead on their spring cleaning. Whatever reason compels you to get behind the wheel, you should ensure that you are practicing safe driving. At Trubicars, we emphasize to our students the importance of driving safely and how the safety of your life and others’ lives is your responsibility when you are driving. We have compiled a list of 10 tips that will help keep you safe on the roads this spring.
1 Check Your Vehicle
As with any trip that you take, regardless of the length, you should complete a pre-trip vehicle inspection. Ensure that the car horn works properly, ensure that your indicator lights, headlights, and taillights work properly, check your tire pressure, and be reaching for objects, etc, sure that all your fluid levels look good. You may need to top up your windshield washer fluid, or your gas tank.
2 Wear Your Seatbelt
Wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to reduce injuries and save lives in traffic collisions. As a driver, not only are you legally required to wear a seatbelt, but you also must ensure every passenger in the car with you has and wears a functioning seatbelt.
3 Avoid Distractions
Any activity that you engage in that takes your attention away from the road is considered Distracted Driving. Actions such as eating, drinking, grooming, reaching for objects etc, are not part of Ontario’s distracted driving law BUT you still can be charged with careless driving, dangerous driving, or distracted driving.
4 Don’t Drive Impaired
Impaired driving means operating a vehicle while your ability to do so has been compromised. This can be from consuming alcohol, drugs (either cannabis, over-the-counter drugs, prescription medication, or illegal substances), or a combination. your judgment can be clouded. In Ontario, driving while you are drunk is one of the leading causes of fatal collisions amongst road users. Many people try to argue that they are safer drivers after they have consumed cannabis…this is not the case. When you drive impaired, your attention is affected, your ability to make decisions is altered and your judgment can be clouded.
5 Be Aware
Regardless of the season, your attention should always remain on the road. You should always be on the lookout for any potential hazards. Be sure to consistently check your surroundings as you are driving. Be mindful of children playing, any volume of pedestrians, and any animals that may be on or around the road.
6 Stopping Distance
In ideal driving conditions, to avoid tailgating, use the 3-second rule! Leave at least 3 seconds between you and the car in front of you. In poor driving conditions, you should be increasing that distance. Be mindful as well of any residual sand that may be left on the roads from melting snow and ice from the winter.
7 Weather Prep
If you’ve experienced spring in Canada before, you may notice that some years we get a false spring, and sometimes that results in some winter-like conditions. Be sure to check the forecast predictions before driving. Also, be sure to not switch your winter tires too early!
8 Keep An Eye Out For Motorcycles
When there is good weather, there are good chances that motorcyclists bring out their bikes and take their first ride of the season. After long winters, many Ontario vehicle drivers often forget about motorcycles and therefore, aren’t used to seeing as many on the road all of a sudden. Motorcycles can sometimes “appear out of nowhere” so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and pay extra attention to your blind spots when turning or changing lanes.
As weather conditions improve, and winter turns to spring, many new construction sites start popping up. Ensure that you are slowing down in construction zones and are paying extra attention to any construction workers that may be in or around your vehicle.
10 Check Your Documents
Before making any type of trip, you should ensure that you have any and all necessary documents in a safe and easily accessible place in your vehicle. By Law, all Ontario drivers are required to purchase car insurance. When you obtain insurance plan coverage, vehicle owners receive a pink slip. This slip is very important as it proves that you have valid vehicle insurance. You should also always ensure that when you are driving, your license ID card is with you. If you are pulled over, officers ask to see your license to ensure that you are legally able to drive a motorized vehicle. It’s also important to ensure that all your documents are up to date. If you need to renew your license, be sure to promptly do so otherwise, you may face a fine.
At Trubicars our goal is to share our knowledge and driving experience with you. We believe it is your duty as an operator of a motorized vehicle to ensure that you remain safe and responsible behind the wheel. If you are looking for more information on tips to keep you safe on the road this spring, check out the Trubicars website!:Tips To Avoid Driving With Road Rage