BCAA's Top Five Safe Driving Tips for the Holidays

Transportation plans should be part of everyone's to-do-list this season

BURNABY, BC, Dec. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - With festivities in full swing and B.C. roads busy with holiday traffic, the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) reminds motorists to prepare for winter driving conditions and practice safe driving habits. BCAA says taking some extra precautions at this time of year can help motorists avoid winter-related vehicle breakdowns and ensure they get themselves, and their passengers, to their destinations safely.

During the holiday season and when harsh winter weather hits, the number of calls from across the province to BCAA's roadside assistance call centre can increase by more than 25 per cent.

"Driving during the holidays can be stressful with winter road conditions and people rushing to get to celebrations and family events," says Ken Cousin, BCAA's associate vice president of Road Assist. "There's a lot of pressure this time of year and lots going on. We urge British Columbians to be prepared when driving in winter conditions, and to make responsible driving choices to help ensure everyone stays safe."

To help British Columbians get around town and arrive home safely, BCAA offers its Top Five Safe Driving Tips for the Holidays:

  1. Prepare your vehicle. Have your vehicle serviced for cold winter conditions and consider installing winter tires which are ideal for ice, frost and snow. Carry a well-stocked winter driving emergency kit which includes items such as: a blanket, gloves, winter boots, shovel, ice scraper and first aid kit.

  2. Keep your speed down. Drive for the road conditions and give yourself plenty of distance between cars to react to the traffic around you.

  3. Check road conditions before you head out. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination. If you want to avoid driving in winter conditions, consider staying home or find another way to get to your destination such as public transit or carpooling.

  4. Avoid driver fatigue. Ensure you're well-rested before a long road trip. If possible, share the driving with other drivers travelling with you, and take breaks if you need to rest.

  5. Make transportation arrangements ahead of time. Use a designated driver, taxi or public transit. Be aware of safe transportation options such as BCAA's Safe-Ride-Home service for members who unexpectedly find themselves unable to drive due to medical treatment, physical injury or consumption of alcohol. Book a hotel room or plan to stay overnight at a friend's or family member's home.

For more information on winter driving tips, what emergency items to carry and safe transportation options, visit bcaa.com/holidaydriving.

About BCAA
BCAA is one of the most trusted organizations in British Columbia, serving one in four B.C. households. With over 800,000 Members, BCAA provides an array of home, auto and travel insurance services, and is renowned for its legendary roadside assistance. J.D. Power has ranked BCAA "Highest In Customer Satisfaction among Home Insurance Providers in Western Canada" two years in a row (2012 and 2013) - details at jdpower.com. Now in its 107th year, BCAA has over $460 million in annual sales, 27 locations and over 900 employees. To learn more about the benefits of BCAA Membership, visit bcaa.com. For more information on the BCAA Road Safety Foundation visit bcaaroadsafety.com.

SOURCE British Columbia Automobile Association

For further information:

For further information, or to request an interview, please contact:

Niela Melanio
BCAA Communication Specialist
Office: 604-268-5342
Cell: 778-228-8859
Email: niela.melanio@bcaa.com