Auto road safety

Keep insurance costs down with road safety

In 2010, nearly 45,000 people suffered death or serious injuries on the roads in Ontario, according to the provinces Road Safety Annual Report. About 57 percent of fatal collisions in Canada take place on rural roads.

To protect yourself and those around you, the Ministry of Transportation recommends practising defensive driving. In addition to following the basic rules of the road, defensive driving means being alert to your surroundings and being aware of potentially dangerous situations so you can take preventive action. Visibility, space and communication are the three guiding principles of defensive driving.

It’s not enough to keep your eyes on the road. You need to keep your eyes moving from the road in front of you to your side and back mirrors to ensure that you know the position of all vehicles around you. You’ll also want to make sure that other vehicles on the road can see you by avoiding their blind spots and using your headlights.

Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says, “If you can read this, you’re too close”? Because ‘fender benders’ are the most common accidents, the Ministry of Transportation recommends taking the two second test to see if you are leaving enough space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front. Look for a fixed marker on the side of the road, such as a sign or fence post. When the vehicle in front of you passes the marker, start counting (one, one thousand, two, one thousand). If you pass the marker before you’re finished counting, you’re too close.

For traffic to run smoothly, drivers must also communicate. Don’t be afraid to use your signals, your hazard lights and your horn to ensure that other drivers know what you’re doing. If you can, make eye contact with pedestrians, cyclists and drivers at intersections.

Basic rules of the road

Keep to the right of the road.

Obey posted speed limits.

Do not use handheld devices such as cell phones, tablets or music players while driving.

Slow down and pull to the right, if an emergency vehicle is driving behind you with their lights and sirens on (e.g., an ambulance, fire truck or police car)

Impaired driving will result in criminal charges.

Seat belts and child safety seats are mandatory.

Contact the staff at our local office for more safety tips.