As we head into the Victoria Day long weekend – a long-awaited sign of summer – there’s some important things for motorists to consider.
Alarming statistics on collision-related injuries and deaths been shared all week in light of Canada Road Safety Week - which just so happens to continue over the May long weekend. The initiative was started by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) to “increase public compliance with safe driving measures in order to save lived and reduce injuries on our roads.”
Starting on May 14th and ending on May 20th, Road Safety Week discusses the consequences of certain driving behaviours, including impaired driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving, drowsy driving and the non-use of seat belts.
Research shows that there is an influx of such driving behaviours over many holidays, including the May long weekend. As most of the provinces participate in a mass exodus towards cottage country, highways and backroads can become quite congested. The frustration and fatigue that stem from heavy traffic can increase chances of getting into collisions, some of which may be fatal.
Drivers may also become more aggressive, leading them to speed, weave in and out of traffic, yell, or try to intimidate other drivers. If you encounter a driver who is showing signs of aggression, try to keep a safe distance and do not confront or challenge them.
Plan your route and give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Pay attention to traffic reports and avoid congested areas, if possible. If you know that you’re going to be hitting heavy traffic, make sure you have a full tank of gas before you leave. Always do a pre-check of your vehicle to make sure all safety features are fully functional before heading out on the road for a long ride.
Long weekends often mean parties and various get-togethers. If you are going to a venue where you know you will be consuming alcohol or using cannabis, always plan a safe ride home or arrange to stay overnight.
The Victoria Day long weekend is something to look forward to! Enjoy your weekend but do so safely, whether you’re a motorist, a motorcyclist, cyclist or a pedestrian. We all have responsibilities when it comes to keeping our roads safe and preventing injuries and deaths.