As we move into the heart of summer, the season gives Canadians a plethora of options to have fun in the sun – the majority of which require at least a short ride down the road. Whether you’re heading to the beach with friends, the latest concert or festival, or cruising across the country on a family road trip, staying safe on the road should always be a priority when you – or someone you care about – get behind the wheel.
While we tend to think of summer months as pretty tame when it comes to accidents on the road, the truth is, the perceived safety of not having slick ice or snow drifts coming across the highway actually may lead to us getting a little too heavy on the gas when we should actually be taking it more carefully.
The combination of faster speeds, more people on the road, and social engagements that could have drivers operating under the influence can lead to scary scenarios. While winter collisions may occur more frequently, Allstate Canada data shows that July and August see an overall spike in claims payouts of 10-15 per cent, which reflects more serious collisions.
Allstate’s data also shows that throughout Canada, the most dangerous summer days seem to be those that bookend the season, with June 30th christened the highest collision day of the summer (on average) followed by August 29, 30 and 31.
While this may make you think twice about getting out and about – there are a few tips I’d suggest you follow to help keep safe on the road and enjoy your summer in style.
1. Car Maintenance
If you drive on all-season tires or didn’t get a full check when you changed out your winters, make sure your tires, air pressure, and gauges are properly filled, balanced, and working according to your car’s manufacturers’ recommendations.
2. Slow it Down
As much as you might be tempted to kick it up a few extra kilometers on your speedometer, do yourself a favour and play it safe. Give yourself extra time, obey the speed limit, and drive according to road conditions. During busy periods, plan accordingly for traffic, road closures, and local disruptions so that you aren’t rushing to your destination. Festivals, sporting events, and parades can play havoc with traffic, so extra care at this time is necessary.
3. Stay Focused
While we’re all fans of belting it out at the top of our lungs to the latest track on the radio or having a good chit-chat on the road, never lose sight of the fact that you’re responsible for roughly 1,300 kilograms of moving vehicle, anything it may come into contact with, and the people inside of it. Also, while it may go without saying, be responsible. Don’t consume alcohol if you plan on driving. Find a designated driver, call a cab, or take public transit if necessary.
In any case, summer is a great time to relax and enjoy yourself with friends and family – so enjoy the season safely, keep distractions to a minimum (yes, including electronics), and keep your eyes on the road in front of you. Most of all – have fun!