10 Driving Tips To Stay Safe and Reduce Traffic
Growing up in Canada we are lucky to experience the hot summers and frigid winters. Whether you enjoy all the seasons is another question, but what we do have is the experience. Like most, when I became of age to drive I made my way to the MTO (Motor Transportation Office) after school. First time I walked to the bus stop and when I got to the MTO it was closed. The second time I jogged to the bus stop to catch an earlier bus and again, arrived when they closed. My third attempt I skipped my last class on a Friday and made it (sorry Mom and Dad- lol). I’ve been driving for an extended period of time and consider myself experienced enough to share what could save you time and possibly reduce you chances of ending up in a motor vehicle accident (MVA)
- Communication: Be seen and heard, it’s that simple. Toggle your high beams, use your hazards, use your horn and even hand gestures! I would encourage a friendly wave and maybe not flipping the bird 😉
- Hesitation: Be sure before you move, it’s that simple if you stop while your into your manoeuvre, chances are the person coming towards you or behind you will not be able to react in time
- Three Second Rule: When driving especially on the highway at high speeds give yourself a cushion from the car ahead. Honestly I keep about a 2.5second gap.
- Don’t press the brake unless needed: The portion of driving that takes the most amount of fuel resources is acceleration. If you brake and the person behind is on your tail they will brake, likely harder than you and the reaction continues all the way back until that one driver that has allocated enough space to just coast.
- Keep right unless passing: This rule should become a bylaw. For those that do 80km/h in the fast lane and even 100km/h, this is also known as the left most lane. I can assure you if you are NOT at a passing speed you will be high beamed, honked or fingered. You may even witness a crash that you’ve caused because of your mindless driving, do everyone a favour and keep right.
- Check your tire pressure: Besides getting better gas mileage your only control on the road is with your tires, it they are not maintained your not doing all you can to keep you and your family safe. If not for you and yours think about others on the road.
- Use Cruise Control: I’m a big fan of cruise control and use it whenever I can, I hardly use the accelerator or brake when I’m driving unless starting off or coming to a complete stop. Some may call me lazy, I call it using what I paid for it’s there to make your driving experience better.
- Adaptive Cruise Control: I’ve only had this on a few high end rentals but once you’ve tried it you’ll wonder why you never looked into this feature before. This feature can keep your three second space cushion without you doing a thing!
- Bluetooth and Handsfree: In todays world of distracted driving this is a must. My best story to share here is a young lady was driving on a side road beside me looking at her phone texting back. She swerved into my lane causing me to swerve and avoid her. If I was mindlessly driving she would’ve ruined my day and possibly injured my family (Angry face). When we came up to a red light she looked over with her phone in her hand, I told her to “Put down your *&%K&$G phone”. Her response….”Sorry”.
- The S Manoeuvre: I learned this at The Academy of Defensive Driving and notice I’m one of the few that know about this manoeuvre. This one tip will allow you to see your oncoming traffic when making a left but also prevent the person behind you from pushing you into oncoming traffic. The amount of times I see drivers waiting to make a left but unable because of a full size SUV or truck also making a left in the oncoming lane. This move will keep traffic flowing and reduce your time at traffic lights.
I would love to hear any of your tips and tricks of the road – what do you think of my suggestions?