Summer driving safety tips!
The summer; don’t you love it! The beautiful weather, the fun activities and vacation time tend to make it appealing to drive more often during the summer than in winter. Transport Canada statistics show Canadians drive more in the summer. We also have more crashes in summer months. Since we’re doing trips more often, we need to ensure we know how to prepare for our summer travels. How well do you prepare your vehicle?
The first advice I would give is to ensure your vehicle is mechanically sound before embarking on your trip. The fluids should be checked to ensure they are up to the recommended levels. Be sure you also check the tires; including the spare tire, for proper inflation. This adds to our piece of mind while we’re enjoying our trip. Just in case you have a mishap with your vehicle, I would suggest you invest in a roadside assistance program. They can tow your vehicle if it breaks down, but can also bring you some gas in case you’ve run out. Consider it a great investment.
Packing your vehicle also takes some talent. As a kid, and camping most weekends, meant my parents had to pack well. There had to be enough room in the vehicle for our items, plus enough room for me, my sister and brother. My dad was very good of ensuring we had the room. It was almost like having a 3-dimentional puzzle in our vehicle. I learned a lot from my dad and that’s helped since my wife and I have 4 kids of our own. Packing our van for a weekend trip, or a day trip, takes some planning.
The first safety tip when packing your vehicle is to ensure you can keep your visibility through the windows. Packing your items so high that it impedes your visibility out of the rear window stops you from driving safely. If you have too many items, perhaps put them in a trailer or a rooftop carrier. Another suggestion for safer packing is to put smaller items inside larger items. For example, what can you put in backpacks or a cooler, instead of leaving in separate bags? This can save you room.
Distractions are a major problem whenever we drive, so secure loose items. Place smaller items behind your seat or in a storage compartment. Larger, heavier items should be placed in the trunk. This reduces the chance of injuries if you had to suddenly stop your vehicle. Another good idea is to keep a small cooler behind the seat so there is easy access to water and snacks. Having your maps close by will also make it easier for your navigator.
The summer is our traditional time for vacations and traveling, so let’s do it safely and plan ahead. Take the time to ensure you and your family and friends can arrive to your destination to enjoy this beautiful weather!