As you gain experience with driving, it’s a natural occurrence to slip into bad habits. By that same token, as an experienced driver, it’s natural to slip back into old bad habits that you thought you once corrected. As a new driver, being on busy roads and areas with high-traffic volume can be overwhelming. At Trubicars, we ensure to emphasize to driving students how important it is to ensure that you are safe and responsible when operating a motorized vehicle. As back-to-school season approaches, we have gathered some tips to ensure that you remain safe and responsible while behind the wheel.
1 Stop for School Buses
In Ontario, School buses come in many different sizes, however, they all look the same; they are yellow and display the words “School Bus”.
As a driver, whenever you approach a school bus that is stopped with its alternating red lights flashing you too must come to a complete stop, regardless of if you are behind the bus or approaching the bus from the front. You must stop for the school bus no matter the speed limit or how many lanes the road is. Furthermore, you must be prepared to stop for a school bus at any given time, not just within school operating hours.
If you fail to stop for a stopped school bus that has its alternating red lights flashing, you can be fined between $400 and $2000 and received 6 demerit points. If you continually fail to stop for a stopped school bus, you can be fined between $1000 and $4000, 6 demerit points, and receive 6 months of jail time.
2 Higher Volume of Pedestrians= More chances of collisions
In areas such as malls, schools, parking lots, and city streets, as a driver, you are bound to experience different volumes of pedestrians. In areas like neighborhoods, the volume of pedestrians may be smaller compared to areas like schools. A higher volume of pedestrians equals more chances of collisions. It’s sometimes hard to gauge whether or not a child will come chasing after a ball that has been thrown too far, or if someone will run onto the road to retrieve something they dropped. Either way, it is your duty as a motorized vehicle operator to be aware of these potential situations and respond accordingly. Always ensure that you are driving the speed limit, obeying the signs and signals on the road, and ensuring that your attention remains on the road.
3 Avoid Distractions
Distracted Driving involves any activity that takes your focus away from driving. You are a distracted driver if you do any of the following behind the wheel:
- Eat or Drink
- Text, Scroll or search on your phone
- Fiddle with radio or navigation systems
- Drive with a pet on your lap
- Reach for a fallen object
In Ontario, collision data from 2013 shows that One person is injured in a distracted driving collision every half hour.To avoid distracted driving, and help lower these kinds of statistics, consider taking the following steps:
- Before you leave: Pre-select your radio stations or queue up your favorite tunes prior to leaving your destination.
- Turn off your phone or switch it to silent: This ensures that your phone will not be a potential distraction to your driving.
- Pull over: If something requires your immediate attention while you are driving, safely pull over to the side and deal with the issue accordingly, ensuring that you will not be distracted again.
4 Aggressive Driving
Tailgating (or following too closely) is considered to be a form of aggressive driving and can oftentimes be mistaken for road rage. 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. Speeding is another type of aggressive driving. Although you may be excited to get on the road, or are potentially running late, it’s important that you maintain the posted speed limits. When driving at a high speed, you may find yourself unable to control your vehicle during an emergency which can turn a potentially dangerous situation into a fatal one. If you are convicted of speeding, you may receive demerit points as well as a fine. The fine for driving over the speed limit will depend on how fast you were traveling over the speed limit.
At Trubicars, we believe and emphasize the importance of how it is your duty as an operator of a motorized vehicle to ensure that you remain safe and responsible behind the wheel, not just for your sake, but for the sake of other road users. Ensuring that you are consistently practicing safe and responsible driving habits can help keep our roads safe. If you are looking for more information on re-evaluating your driving habits and some back-to-school safety tips, check out the Trubicars website!Tips To Avoid Driving With Road Rage