No matter how long you’ve been driving for, each time you pull onto the road for a trip is a different scenario. Driving tests a multitude of physical and mental skills as we control our vehicles, and it’s up to license holders to be as responsible as possible both for ourselves and for everyone else on the road around us.
With that in mind, below are 5 tips to consider for safe driving all year round…
1. Know the Seasonal Hazards
a. Fall brings falling leaves and rain which can leave roads slippery. Avoid driving through big piles of leaves, as you never know what may be hiding underneath. This is a great time to schedule your tire change to be ready for Winter.
b. Winter gives us the biggest challenge with snow, black ice, wind, sun glare and less daylight for the commute. Slow and steady driving will still get you to where you’re going. If you have them, make sure your Winter tires are on to help you with traction during the slippery season.
c. Spring provides us with melting snow and rain, which can cover roads with water. Animals are awake from hibernation and on the move. Even though driving conditions are becoming better, you need to keep an eye out!
d. Summer usually allows for great driving conditions, but it also comes with increased construction, congestion and motorcycle season. It might be nice out but that’s no reason to let your guard down.
2. Perform Basic Vehicle Maintenance
Ensure your vehicle is up to date on its maintenance schedule and keep a log. Whether it be an oil change at 5000km, tire rotation at 25000km or even a timing belt at 100000km, you’ll know what work was done and what is due up next. Your vehicle is a lot like your body: The better you treat it, the better it’ll perform.
3. Know Where to Go BEFORE you Go
In-car GPS does work great, however even with a GPS available, you can look ahead and search online for the area you will be driving to before you hit the road. If you are unfamiliar with your destination, this always helps. Look for street names and landmarks that will help you arrive safe along with intersections or roads to avoid. Up to the minute traffic reports can help you avoid any unwanted dangers and delays as you travel.
4. Stay Focused
Music, news, talk radio and even audio books are all great choices to provide in-trip entertainment for you and your passengers. However, even if you’re the next Eddie Van Halen, avoid playing the air guitar, keep your hands on the wheel and stay focused on the task of driving—and not karaoke. Your passengers will appreciate arriving safely!
5. Respect the Bus
ALWAYS stop for school buses! Drivers must stop for a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing. Drivers can and will be charged. First offence: $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points. Each following offence: $1,000 to $4,000, six demerit points and possible jail time (up to six months). Vehicle owners can be charged if their vehicle illegally passes a stopped school bus, even if they weren't driving. When you see their Flashing Lights turn on, come to a complete stop, even if the stop sign and arm haven’t fully deployed.
For more information on Student Transportation of Canada bus lines, and to find out if a career behind the wheel is for you, visit: