Whether you are travelling over the holidays, a long weekend or for spring break, we like to remind motorists to make a conscious effort to not take for granted the safety of our roads while we are hustling around or distracted with plans and to-do lists.
We all deserve to travel our roads safely at any time of year. It’s well documented that there are numerous additional factors that lead to accidents over the holiday season and long weekends.
These are simple reminders that aren’t a surprise to anyone. Yet, the reality is that most car accidents are preventable and are caused by people not following them. Road safety is no accident.
Driving while using cell phones for talking and texting to friends, coworkers, or family is distracted driving. Texting and driving continue to be a leading cause of accidents. If a conversation of any sort needs to be had, pull over and stop the car.
Better yet – keep the temptation of your phone away from you. Why not challenge yourself to put your phone in the back seat or trunk while you’re driving at any time of year.
Driving too aggressively
The number one cause of accidents is driving too aggressively! We all have lots to do and not a lot of time. The holidays, especially, come with increased pressures and stress by believing that we have much to do in a short span of time. Hustle and bustle right? It’s human nature to want to move quickly, making aggressive lane changes, run through that yellow light, failing to yield to the right of way, etc. The reality is that our needs to get to our destination quickly isn’t more important than the right to safety of others using the roads.
Slow down. It’s simple. Be present.
The holiday season and long weekends are often a time of abundance and indulgence – family dinners and other holiday get-togethers typically involve consumption of alcohol or cannabis. We all have a responsibility to not drive impaired AND to report it when we see someone driving impaired.
Many people travel on the roads during the holidays, long weekends and other peak vacation periods, such as March Break. Often they are driving long distances – and many attempt to do it without taking a break. If you can, share the driving duties, take frequent breaks, stay well hydrated.
Poor Weather Conditions
What would a safe driving discussion in Canada be without a reminder to be mindful of the road conditions? Especially in the winter, stay up to date on weather and road conditions. It’s okay to delay travel until bad weather passes. In the winter, bring gloves, hat, winter boots and consider packing extra water, a shovel, blanket and small candle in the event something happens while you’re on the road and you end up being in your car longer than you plan until help arrives. A sudden snow squall or icy roads can take you off the road in seconds.
Our inconvenience in this traffic is likely someone else’s’ worst day if they have been in an accident. Be patient, be kind. Everyone deserves to arrive home safely.
Road Safety is Everybody’s Responsibility.
The Ottawa Safety Council is a charitable non-profit organization with over 50 years of service in Ottawa. We deliver services throughout the City on a daily basis starting with the Crossing Guard Program that we deliver on behalf of the City of Ottawa at 241 different locations. We are actively recruiting Crossing Guards right now – this is excellent part-time employment that gets you out of the house, into your community – really flexible.
Our cornerstone program is a motorcycle instruction and licensing program that we have been teaching for 54 years. If you are looking to learn how to ride a motorcycle in 2020 – the fact is, taking this 2.5 day course means that you will ride more safely and with more confidence.
This year we reached over 25000 elementary-aged kids in Ottawa with our WalkSafe program – teaching curriculum based pedestrian safety programming to kids – teaching them how to safely navigate the roads independently as pedestrians, And if you have a baby, a toddler or a young child in your life – call us about our BestFit Carseat program – our most vulnerable passengers ride in car seats and unknowingly over 75% of them are installed improperly. We have regularly scheduled clinics – so you can sign up online and bring your seat and we will teach you how to install the seat for your vehicle.