The school year is coming to a close which means summer holidays will soon be here. Many Saskatchewan motorists and their families will be heading out on summer vacations that will include roadtrips to the cottage, camping, or driving to visit with family and friends. Before packing for that perfect summer getaway, CAA Saskatchewan reminds motorists to follow some important safety tips for summer driving. “Plan ahead, remain focused while driving with a positive attitude, and refrain from any form of distracted driving are all important tips to help everyone stay safe on the road,” said Christine Niemczyk, Director of Communications for CAA Saskatchewan. According to SGI, distracted driving, excessive speed, and impaired driving are high-risk driving behaviours that lead to collisions and fatal crashes in our province.
Follow these tips to help with your driving safety:
• Plan ahead:
- Have your vehicle inspected prior to travelling to ensure your vehicle is in top operating condition and to avoid breakdowns during your summer travels. If unexpected breakdowns do occur, be sure to have access to a roadside assistance provider like CAA. The CAA Mobile App is also available to access roadside service or for Member benefits including TripTiks, tourbooks and maps.
- If your vehicle requires servicing, remember CAA’s Care Car Centres and CAA Approved Auto Repair Services (AARS). Be sure to have the tires, brakes, steering and suspension checked.
- Chart your route to allow time to travel safely, and check for road construction to avoid delays.
- Pack an emergency vehicle kit. (I.e. flashlight, booster cables, tire puncture sealant, first-aid kit, flares, drinking water, cell phone with batteries and charger for emergency calls, etc.)
- Remember that wearing a seatbelt is law in Saskatchewan and all babies and toddlers must be restrained in proper infant or car seats. On June 27th, booster seats will also become mandatory in the province for children less than seven years of age.
• Stay alert:
- Get enough sleep the night before you have to drive. Once on your journey, take regular breaks.
- Allow the driver to focus on driving, and nominate a passenger to act as navigator and cell phone user.
• Eliminate driver distractions:
- Drivers, remember all Canadian provinces ban the use of handheld communication devices behind the wheel. Pull over to read a map, make a phone call or text, set the GPS unit, smoke, or tend to children, and stop to eat.
- Pre-set musical systems before you start driving and keep volume low.
- Keep conversations with passengers light and to a minimum.
• Slow Down
- Obey the speed limit. It will not only improve your safety, but also save you money at the gas pumps.
- Remember it’s the law to slow to 60 km/hour on Saskatchewan highways when passing tow trucks or emergency vehicles assisting motorists and when entering work zones or passing line painting trucks with lights flashing.