DriveWise: Wishing You and Yours a Happy Family Day!
So what are your plans for family day? Family ski day up north, or how about a trip to the big city or perhaps even visiting family out of town. Well if any of your plans involve driving, here are some things to consider before heading off. First of all, is driving the safest and most economical way to your destination? Perhaps a nice train ride, transit or taxi might be an option so you don’t have to worry at all, just sit back and take in the scenery. If you’re considering renting a vehicle, factor in the size requirements (e.g. sedan or sport utility?), fuel efficiency, and safety ratings of the vehicle. Do a good walk around for any damage and also be aware that very few car rentals have winter tires. Familiarize yourself with the instrumentation, climate control, hazard lights, and all safety equipment before you head out on the road...better there than on the freeway in the middle of a snow squall!
If you’re taking the family vehicle, route planning is always highly recommended. One of the best things you can do is to give yourself plenty of time to get your destination, that way you’ll have a better shot at avoiding road rage or perhaps taking risks you might not normally take. Make sure your vehicle is also prepared for the trip and winter ready. Make sure you have a good winter survival kit and remember it’s never too late to get a set of four winter tires! If your vehicle does break down, or worse you’re involved in a collision on a highway or freeway, please stay in your vehicle! It’s much safer in there, away from the elements or other traffic. Make sure the cell phone is well charged but either turned off or muted so we’re not tempted to look at it while driving. If it’s a long trip, plan rest stops every couple of hours or so, even if it’s just for a few minutes to stretch and get some oxygen flowing to the brain to help fight any fatigue. Of course the best way to reduce the risk of fatigue is to get plenty of sleep before the road trip and before heading back home.
Before you head out be sure to go online for weather updates, during the trip listen to the local radio stations for weather and collision reports, and if it’s really treacherous out there, ask yourself, do you really NEED to drive? Finally remember there will be many other road users out there, so let’s all try be respectful of each other and do our best to share the road and make sure we all get to our destinations safely. All the best to you and your family this family day weekend!