Drive Safe – Things to remember

Driving the open road on a sunny day can be truly joyful. On the other hand, driving in the GTA in rush hour in the rain – not so much joy there! As well, today’s complex cars, gridlock and sometimes a lack of driver courtesy all result in increasingly high accident rates. As the line from an old TV police show says, “Be careful out there.” With that in mind, here is a “Top Ten List of Safe-Driving Tips to help you and your vehicle arrive safely:

1. Always stay focused on your driving; distracted driving is the leading cause of vehicle crashes and injuries. Estimates suggest that up to 80 per cent of accidents are caused by some form of distracted driving, from chatting to texting and even eating or adjusting the radio. Pay attention to the road; keep both eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

2. Always buckle up. Not only is it the law but it just makes sense. This might seem obvious by now, but it is the number one method of protecting yourself in a crash.

3. When stopping at a light or intersection, always leave ample room between yourself and the vehicle in front of you, making sure you can clearly see the bottom of the rear tires. To determine a safe distance, when driving, use the “Seconds Rule”: pick a fixed object and count how long it takes you to pass it after the car in front of you passes it. For dry roads the distance should be equal to a two-second count; for wet roads count at least 4 seconds and for wintry or icy roads count at least 10 seconds. Following at a safe distance and paying attention can save your life.

4. Always carry safety gear with you and make sure you change the gear according to the season. Winter is especially important. You can put a winter survival kit together yourself or buy one at any auto parts store.

5. Keep your vehicle in good working order and maintain at least half a tank of gas.

6. When driving somewhere unfamiliar plan your route ahead of time. Don’t depend completely on your GPS.

7. A cell phone is great to have available for an emergency so make sure you have a charged battery and a car charger, especially for a long trip but keep some spare change in your vehicle, just in case.

8. Travel on active, well-lit streets, whenever possible and always keep your doors and windows locked while driving.

9. Don’t stop for stranded motorists; help them by calling the police and giving their location.

10. Beware of “Staged Accidents” – If you have any reason to believe that this has happened to you, stay in your locked vehicle and call the police. If you feel that you might be in danger try to get such basic information such as the make, model and colour of the other vehicle and its license plate number. Then drive to somewhere that’s safe and call the police.

To sum up, pay attention to your vehicle’s roadworthiness, to what’s going on around you and especially to your own driving and you’ll give yourself the best chances of arriving safely.

Drive safe; arrive safe. Should you ever need the services of a fine auto body shop, find out more about the auto body services offered by Newmarket Auto Body; call us at 905-898-7388 or visit our Newmarket shop at 505 Kent Dr.