QUEBEC CITY, July 19, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - With thousands of Quebecers
set to hit the road over the next few days throughout Quebec, the rest
of Canada and the United States for the traditional two-week summer
holiday period, CAA-Quebec would like to remind them to drive very
safely, keeping in mind a number of important tips.
Start off on the right foot
One of the keys to preparing for a long drive is to get plenty of rest
beforehand. Since we all know that "slow and steady wins the race,"
it's better to plan the journey to include frequent stops (ideally
every two hours) so that there is time to stretch your muscles, give
the kids a break and get something to eat.
"Fatigue is the third-leading cause of death on Quebec's roads,"
stresses Yvon Lapointe, Director, Road Safety Education, CAA-Quebec.
"Taking a break for a few minutes every couple of hours helps deal with
fatigue and the accumulated stress of driving. As well, having a light
snack during these breaks doesn't cause the same sleepy feeling one
often gets after eating a heavy meal."
Keep a safe distance
Drivers should stay at least three seconds behind the vehicle in front
of them. To determine this distance, he or she chooses a specific point
on the road (tree, storefront, sign, etc.) and waits for the vehicle in
front to pass it; once it has done so, the driver counts the number of
seconds it takes to reach the same point.
"Ideally, there should be a 3- to 6-second distance between vehicles,
and even more if you're towing a trailer," Mr. Lapointe continues.
"This way, when driving at a more even and relaxed pace, without having
to repeatedly slow down or accelerate, there is a better view of the
road and the overall surroundings. With less than three seconds,
however, it becomes very difficult to anticipate and react quickly
Towing a trailer
Above all, motorists must know their vehicle's towing capacity; this
information can be found in the owner's manual. They should never
overestimate this capacity, because a load that is too heavy could
damage certain parts of the towing vehicle and pose a serious risk to
the safety of other road users. In addition, they should be sure to
take into account the extra size and weight of the trailer when
driving, be extra cautious when changing lanes, accelerating or making
turns, and especially when slowing down, since the load being pulled
will greatly affect the vehicle's performance and could significantly
increase the distance required to stop in case of an emergency.
Moreover, motorists should also ensure that the trailer is securely
attached to the vehicle and check this regularly throughout the trip.
Since backing up with a trailer or camper is more difficult, it is best
to be prepared in case there is a need to do this. If the driver is
unsure whether he or she will be able to reverse safely with a trailer,
it is recommended that they practice in a quiet area - ideally far from
all traffic - before starting a trip. Certain driver's education
programs, including the CAA-Quebec Driving School, offer specialized
courses on how to drive with a trailer.
Overweight vehicles - Watch out!
When the trunk of the vehicle is full, a roof-mounted cargo box can come
in very handy. Water-proof and aerodynamic, these boxes are very safe
when properly attached. However, in the absence of such a box and if
luggage is being placed directly on the roof of the vehicle, it should
be stacked in a pyramid shape and securely fastened with rope or
"Obviously, no one wants to lose their personal belongings on the road,"
Mr. Lapointe says. "Even more important, however, such debris on the
road surface poses a real danger to drivers, who may inadvertently hit
or drive over objects that have fallen off vehicles in front of them.
Lastly, baggage or other objects should never be placed in front of a
vehicle's rear window, as the driver needs to have a clear and
Before leaving, tire pressure (including the spare) and fluid levels
(motor oil, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid), should be
doublechecked. However, having an inspection done every summer at a
trusted service centre is strongly recommended. Lastly, CAA-Quebec
members are entitled to Emergency Road Service in case of a problem -
regardless of where they are in North America - as well as maps and
In CAA-Quebec's 2013 summer survey, which was conducted in May, 69% of
respondents said they would take holidays this summer. To find out more
about this annual survey, please read our recent press release.
CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904, provides
automotive, travel, residential and financial services and privileges
to its 1,220,000 members
For further information:
Public Relations Officer
514 861-7111, ext. 3210
Cell.: 514 717-4040