Ottawa, Ontario - Young Drivers of Canada has announced that December 1 to 7, 2006 is its annual Safe Driving Week, and offers defensive driving tips. Transport Canada reports that November and December produce the highest casualty collisions resulting in injuries and fatalities, and then drops in the January to April months.
The tips include:
Driver fatigue: Driving when you are tired is very dangerous, and reduces your ability to drive effectively. If you are traveling a long distance, stop at least every two hours to take a break.
Essential items: carry a long-handled scraper and snow brush, windshield washer fluid, booster cables, reflective cones, flashlight, first-aid kit, blanket, and kitty litter for traction on ice.
Tires: Snow tires on all four wheels will provide better traction and control. Check tire pressure at least once a month.
Look well ahead: Look ahead a minimum of 12 to 15 seconds in snowy conditions. Change lanes early and smoothly, and keep moving.
Mirror usage: Check your mirrors every five to eight seconds, so that you can see a rear-end collision taking shape behind you. Do you leave enough space in front of you at an intersection so you can pull forward out of trouble, and have you got an escape route planned if you need it?
Maintaining control: If you start to lose control, shift into neutral (or put in the clutch on a standard transmission), take your foot off the gas, then look and steer as gently as possible in the direction you want to go.
Lights on: Most automatic headlight systems and daytime running lights do not activate the rear lights during daylight. Turn on your low beam headlights regardless of the time of day.