IBC's top 10 tips for safe driving this Victoria Day weekend

TORONTO, May 12, 2014 /CNW/ - For many people, the upcoming Victoria Day weekend marks the end of a harsh winter and the 'unofficial start' of the summer season.  Traffic will be heavy as thousands of Ontarians take to the roads for a getaway with the family or head to cottage country to get ready for the season.

All too often during holiday weekends, we hear news reports of serious collisions that could have been prevented.

"It's important to put safety first and to drive defensively, not only this weekend, but all year round," says Ralph Palumbo, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. "While you might be in a hurry to get away, it only takes a few minutes to review some useful road safety tips that can help save you from a collision."

IBC suggests the following tips to help you stay safe, focused and in control on the roads:

  1. Never drink and drive. Alcohol and drugs reduce a driver's reaction time. If you have had a drink, use a designated driver.
  2. Avoid driver distractions such as talking on a hand-held cellphone and texting.   According to a recent Virginia Tech study,  up to 80% of all motor vehicle collisions in North America are a result of driver distractions.
  3. Use seatbelts, car seats and booster seats properly.
  4. Obey the rules of the road, respect the rights of other drivers and drive according to road conditions.
  5. If you're experiencing driver fatigue, pull off the road to a safe spot and have a nap. Driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as impaired driving.
  6. Share the road. Be cautious of cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. Always yield to vulnerable road users, even if they don't have the right-of-way.
  7. Don't be intimidated by night driving. Drive carefully and use your headlights properly, including being courteous when using your high beams.
  8. Have your vehicle checked to make sure everything is working properly. Repair or replace worn parts. Check fluid levels and tire pressure. Make sure all lights work.
  9. Before you tow a trailer or haul a load, make sure your vehicle is properly equipped for the job. Check your owner's manual or contact your vehicle dealer. Ensure that your rear-view mirrors give a clear view of the road.
  10. If you see a wild animal on or near the road, brake firmly, but don't swerve. Sound your horn in a series of short bursts to frighten the animal away.

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 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 $46 billion.

To view media releases and information, visit the media section of IBC's website at www.ibc.ca.

SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: Steve Kee, Director, Media & Digital Communications, Insurance Bureau of Canada, 416-362-2031 X-4387, skee@ibc.ca; Ellen Woodger, Communications Consultant, Insurance Bureau of Canada, 416-483-2358, Ellen.woodger@sympatico.ca

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