Safe Driving Tips for Your Commute

Safe Driving Tips for Your Commute bb3 Nov 5, 2014

By Staff Writer

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Morning roadways can get busy. According to the most recent National Household Survey, about 15.4 million Canadians commute ó and 74 percent drive themselves to work. If this includes you, follow these safe driving tips during your daily commute.

Safe Driving Tips for Your Commute
  • Leave early. According to Transport Canada, 27 percent of collision fatalities involve speeding. If you have a long commute, build a few extra minutes into your schedule so you can stick to the speed limit and adjust for heavy traffic. And stay alert throughout the drive ó even if itís familiar. Be prepared for your exits, make lane changes early so youíre in the correct turning lane and listen to traffic reports to be prepared for situations that could cause delays.

  • Wear appropriate footwear. Your shoes could affect your ability to control your car in some situations. Open-heel shoes can slip off and wedge under pedals, while high heels can catch on floor mats, delaying acceleration or braking. Wear sneakers or low-heel shoes while driving. Then slip on your work shoes when you arrive.

  • Drive distraction-free. The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates that distracted driving is a contributing factor in eight out of 10 reported crashes. Avoid activities that take your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road and your mind off driving. This includes using your cell phone (even hands-free devices), grooming, changing radio stations and other common distractions.

  • Avoid aggressive driving. Mornings can be stressful. Add a busy roadway, and stress can compound. Curb your road rage and avoid becoming the target of an aggressive driver.

  • Shield against harsh sunlight. Morning and evening commutes sometimes coincide with sunrise or sunset. In addition to using the carís sun visor, wear a pair of polarised sunglasses and keep your windshield clean to maximise visibility. Also reduce your speed, leave extra space between you and the car ahead of you and turn your headlights on so other drivers can see you better.

Pedaling to the office? Before joining fellow commuters, remember to brush up on basic bike safety.