Almost all accidents are avoidable if everyone involved were doing what they were supposed to behind the wheel. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents in Ontario, even after the law was passed to prevent it.
Read on for some of Mississauga Kia’s driving safety tips, and see how you can avoid some of the common causes of car accidents.
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
When you’re driving, you should be focused on one thing: driving. Don’t let other things distract you from what’s important. Keep your eyes on the road ahead, and check your blind spots before changing lanes, and keep an eye on the rearview mirror to judge the speed of the cars behind you.
Don’t Text and Drive
While it is now illegal in Ontario to use a cell phone while you drive many people still do it. While talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous enough, texting is even worse as it requires you to take your eyes right off the road. Even driving while using a hands-free or Bluetooth phone can be distracting. It is good practice to not only put the phone away but to turn it off as well so you don’t have the urge to answer it if it rings. If you do need to make a call you need to wait until you are parked before doing so.
Don’t Adjust Your Music
While listening to the music itself can be distracting (especially if you’re the kind of person to dance in your car), it’s even worse to try to change CDs or adjust your MP3 player on the move. Just like with a cell phone, it causes you to look away from the road, and all it takes is a second to get in an accident.
Never Drink and Drive
If you’re caught drinking and driving above the legal limit, the penalties are severe. You would have a huge fine to pay, and you could even end up going to jail, having your vehicle impounded, and your license suspended. But mindful of this, even one beer can impair your driving ability by reducing your reaction time and other driving abilities. The same goes for any drugs including narcotics such as marijuana. Never drink when you plan to drive.
Avoid Construction Zones
Try to plan your routes before you leave to avoid construction. If you end up on a detour, you can find yourself in an unfamiliar part of town and flustered. Construction zones have dangers of their own, not to mention the sometimes frustrated drivers you will meet once you finish passing through the zone who are late to get to work or an appointment.
Follow the Speed Limit
The speed limit is there for a reason. If you have to stop quickly, just a few kilometres-per-hour can make a huge difference in reaction time. If you have to stop suddenly, there could easily be an accident. Remember, police offers are often hidden just out of sight, waiting for speeders, and will not hesitate to give you a ticket that could result in a demerit on our license as well as a large fine.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Just like speed limits, there are other rules of the road that you must follow if you want to avoid accidents and tickets. For example, make sure that at a red light or stop sign you come to a complete stop at the line and slow down when approaching a yellow light as opposed to speeding up. It is also important to obey all traffic signs and to use your signal lights religiously, they are there for a reason.
Ignore Aggressive Drivers
The best thing to do when faced with a driver who is speeding and cutting other drivers off is to simply try and get as far out of their way as possible. If they’re speeding up behind you and honking their horn, slow down and let them pass. The quicker you can get them away from you, the safer you’ll be.
Try to Avoid Driving in Bad Weather
Always make sure that your windshield wipers are in working order and that your windshield washer fluid is topped up so if you do get caught in a rain or snowstorm you’ll be able to keep your vision unobstructed. Likewise in the winter, you should defrost your windshield completely before moving. It is best to avoid going out in the snow in general, especially if your car is rear wheel drive but if you must go out in the snow, drive slowly and use the brake and gas pedal gently, leaving increased stopping distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Keep Your Car and Its Accessories in Good Condition
Keep the tires properly inflated, the brakes adjusted, fluids topped up and the windshields and windows clean. Replace wiper blades when they begin to streak and make sure all of the lights are working properly.
No matter how slowly traffic is moving, keep at least two seconds of following distance between you and the car ahead of you. When you push the brake it takes a few seconds to stop the car because of the time it takes to react, think, and push the brake. The safe distance depends on the speed and road conditions. If the roads are wet or snowy you may want to keep an even greater distance.
Don’t Drive Drowsy
Driving tired in many cases can be almost as bad as driving drunk. If you find you need to blast the music and roll down the window in order to keep your eyes open it is probably a good idea to pull off the road and find a safe place to nap for a little while.