Aiming for another safe August long weekend in Alberta: Tips from IBC on road safety

EDMONTON, July 31, 2014 /CNW/ - According to news reports, last year's August long weekend was fatality-free on Alberta's provincial highways. As we aim for another safe August long weekend across the province, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) encourages everyone to put down their cellphones and avoid other dangerous distractions while behind the wheel.  

"Driving while texting or talking on a cellphone has become one of the most serious road safety issues in the country today," explained Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC. "While it is very important to put away your cell, distractions come in many forms. Other dangerous and avoidable distractions to refrain from while driving include eating, reaching for fallen objects and fiddling with your GPS."

In addition to avoiding distractions while driving, Mr. Adams points out that it is also critical to avoid driving while drowsy.

"Driving while drowsy is dangerous for everyone on the road," said Mr. Adams. "If you feel tired, do not attempt any so-called 'tricks' to help you stay awake. Pull over to a safe location and take a nap."

IBC offers the following tips to help ensure another safe August long weekend in Alberta:

10 Tips for Avoiding Distractions While Driving

  1. Eat before driving so you won't be tempted to juggle distracting snacks behind the wheel.

  2. Pull over and park in a safe location before using a cellphone or other hand-held electronic device.

  3. Have a "driving" music playlist prepared and press play before you set the car in motion.

  4. If something falls, leave it. Never reach for an object while driving unless it is impeding your ability to control the car; in that case, pull over and deal with it.

  5. Set your GPS prior to departure and listen to it, don't look at it.

  6. Deal with predictable distractions before hitting the road. Check the map, adjust the seat, climate controls and radio, and familiarize yourself with the dashboard controls before taking the car out of park.

  7. If you are driving with pets, make sure they are safely secured and in the back seat.

  8. Put aside enough time to complete your grooming before you set out. Never apply makeup, comb your hair or shave while driving.

  9. Make all necessary wardrobe changes before you enter the car.

  10. If a situation can't wait – the kids are acting up in the back seat or you need to refer to a map or take an emergency call – pull over somewhere safe to attend to it.

5 Tips for Avoiding Driving While Drowsy

  1. Make sure you have an ample amount of rest before driving.  

  2. For long road trips, take a break every two hours that allows you to exit the automobile, stretch your legs and take in some fresh air.

  3. Do not attempt to fix the drowsy feeling by drinking coffee. While coffee provides a small amount of stimulation, you will feel even more tired afterward.

  4. Do not attempt to keep yourself awake by rolling down the window or turning up the radio. These strategies will not allow you to drive safely for the duration of your trip.

  5. If feeling drowsy while driving, pull over to a safe location and take a nap.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is pleased to celebrate 50 years as a valuable resource for insurance information. Since 1964, IBC has been working with governments across Canada to make our communities safer, championing issues that directly affect Canadians and the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry. IBC is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the private P&C insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes and levies to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $48 billion.

To view media releases and other information, visit the media section of IBC's website at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: To schedule an interview, please contact: Celyeste Power, Manager, Media Relations, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312 (daytime), 647-384-9872 (after hours), cpower@ibc.ca