Our roads are increasingly busy, congested and inadequate for our traffic flow. You can reduce your risk by following these tips:
- do a pre-trip inspection of the vehicle before you depart check your tires & lights as well as refillable fluids
- ensure that your physical condition is optimal when you are driving (not under the influence of drugs or medication and fully awake and alert)
- plan your route before you depart
- listen to the traffic reports and check on lane closures or construction so you can avoid these areas well in advance
- when driving, always keep a cushion of space around your vehicle for safety
- be aware of other road users – especially pedestrians and motorcycles both of which can easily be missed
- look ahead when driving and be aware of everything around you (hazards, the lay of the road ahead, etc.)
- clearly communicate your intentions to others (signals, horn, hand-signals, etc.)
- always leave a safe following distance (2 seconds in the city and 4 seconds on the highway)
- pull over safely to talk on your cell phone or use a hands-free if you feel you MUST answer the phone while operating a motor vehicle
- obey the rules and regulatory signs where you drive
Tips for Lowering Stress
Driving is stressful. This is complicated by the pressure of everyday life. Road rage often seems to happen because of impatience brought on by stress about other things. We offer a few tips to lower your stress levels while driving:
- listen to the traffic reports prior to leaving and know where to avoid
- plan your route so you know where you are going
- give yourself extra time – leave early in case of road delays
- be a considerate and courteous driver – this avoids confrontation
- slow down and drive smoothly – smooth cornering and braking reduces stress
- if you feel unsure behind the wheel, you should improve your skills (training or practise)
- if you have children, keep books and entertaining items in the car to keep them amused
Driving in Adverse Conditions
The Okanagan is beautiful but lately we’ve gotten heavy rain and fog and coming into the winter we’ll get ice and snow. Adverse conditions affect your visibility (even in daylight,) and your traction (even when the road sometimes appears dry.) In these conditions, other drivers are also having the same problems.
If you feel unsure about driving in these conditions, it may be helpful for you to have a confidence-building lesson with one of our Instructors or join us in the classroom with a group to upgrade your skills, build your confidence and most importantly to keep you safe on the road.
A few tips to keep in mind when traveling in adverse conditions:
- If conditions are bad, don’t travel unless absolutely necessary. When the police or other official advise against travel, please heed their warnings.
- If conditions are extremely bad (such as a whiteout) you may have to pull over. Pull off the road as far as possible and turn on your emergency flashers.
- Adjust your speed to suit road and weather conditions.
- Obey road construction signs.
- Slow down.