There are simple ways to make sure you drive safely this summer, like complying with speed limits and using your turn signals, not to mention a regular inspection and maintenance of key vehicle components, from the tires to the windshield wipers and everything in between (did you know heat can drain a car battery 33% faster than low temperatures?).
We’ll give you 10 more tips you should follow during your summer vacations:
Turn your lights on
The sun rises earlier and sets down later in the summer, but that doesn’t mean your headlights should take a leave of absence. If yours don’t automatically turn on, remember to activate them sooner rather than later, especially when driving in an unfamiliar location.
This safe driving tip seems so obvious, but it's still worth repeating. The difference between driving at 50 km/h and 30 km/h is monumental when it comes to avoiding a collision, especially in an age of driving distractions. We know you have lots of cool and exciting activities to go to, but don’t be in such a rush.
Don't be afraid to use the horn
Speaking of distractions, some drivers seem to prefer looking at anything but the road and thus endanger the lives of everyone around them. If you see another car moving erratically or compromising the natural flow of traffic, be prepared to use your horn. It’s not just for annoying others, you know. Also, if you drive a hybrid or electric car, this will alert unsuspecting pedestrians of your presence.
This seems like another obvious safe driving tip, but we’ll mention it again. Don’t let your emotions or bad mood affect your driving. A vacationer is blocking the left lane with his RV? Take a deep breath and try to stay patient. Moreover, consider alternative routes, even if it means making a small detour. It’s always best to drive somewhere you like, where the scenery is relaxing and patience-inducing.
Adjust your mirrors
Properly adjusting your mirrors is a safe driving tip that many seem to forget—not just the rearview mirror, but the side mirrors, too. They need to be in the ideal position to eliminate blind spots and give you more visibility of the road. Remember to check them as often as possible and don’t rely solely on your car’s electronic nannies.
Take an advanced driving course
This safe driving tip might seem like a luxury, not a necessity, but it really does help improve your driving skills, whether on the track, on slippery pavement, on off-road trails or during emergency manoeuvres. You can take what you learn during the course and easily apply it to everyday driving in order to make you a safer and better driver.
Keep your distances
When you're on the road, you want to leave a good distance between yourself and the cars around you, thus giving you more time to react. This safe driving tip is paramount and one of the most important ones as it could save you from a nasty fender-bender or worse. Consider the size of your vehicle and the condition of the brakes; those factors will determine the distance required for a stop.
Keep both hands on the steering wheel
Summer is a good time to chill and relax, but many drivers let a hand slip off of the steering wheel to grab a cup of coffee, play with the radio or follow the beat with their fingers. It's not safe. Consider how much faster your response time will be if both your hands are on the wheel already when an evasive move is needed.
Look further ahead
Too many drivers look no further than the bumper of the car in front of them when they're on the road, which is a huge mistake. In order to be a safe driver, you should be looking well beyond that and analyzing how the other cars are progressing. If you look ahead, you will give yourself more time to react to avoid a dangerous situation.
Forget about your gadgets once you hit the road
Need to send a text message, modify your favourite playlist or enter a new destination in the navigation system? Do it before you hit the road or, if not, at least pull over. You need to stay focused with your two eyes and ears while driving. Ideally, turn everything off. Now that’s a real vacation!