More Canadians die on the road during the summer months than at any other time of the year. Alcohol, fatigue, and aggressive driving are often implicated in these tragedies. Seasonal risks are numerous, and below are a few reminders of some basic safety instructions so that your summer can be fun and safe.
Fatigue is a form of impairment, so on long trips, don’t give into the temptation to push on.
If you are traveling with young children, regular stops are a must.
It is never safe to leave a child, a vulnerable person, or a pet alone in a vehicle. Even on days that seem mild, the passenger compartment can turn into an oven in 20 minutes or less, with potentially dangerous consequences.
Before leaving on vacation, have your vehicle checked to make sure it’s safe.
Carry a flashlight, flares, and a first-aid kit where they can be reached easily in case of an emergency.
When you buy gas, always spend a few minutes on simple maintenance. Check oil and other fluids, clean the windshield and other glass surfaces.
During the summer months, roads are being repaired; therefore, it would be wise to use your GPS and/or website road map to get the accurate information about the road closures. Don’t forget that when speeding in a roadwork zone fines are doubled for speeding offences.
Kids often find road trips long and boring. Why not take advantage of those long hours by playing some fun games?
Brain workout: the first player initiates a sentence “in my suitcase, I put a green shirt…” Each player should repeat and complete the list that is getting longer and longer.
Auto Bingo: kids draw winning numbers (2 or 3 numbers), the first that sees the numbers on the licence plate wins the point!
Crystal ball: Each member of the family focuses and tries to predict the colour of the car that will pass ours and the number of passengers.
Magic colour: Each member of the family select a colour and make one point as soon as he sees a car with the selected colour.
In order to make your trip a safe experience, be prepared!
The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations require all operators of pleasure craft fitted with any type of motor and used for recreational purposes to carry proof of competency on board. (Proof of Competency is not required in the waters of Nunavut and Northwest Territories at this time).
By law, boaters must have appropriately sized personal flotation devices (PFDs) for each person aboard the boat, though they do not need to be worn.
Children’s PFD’s should be selected by size and weight, and have collars to keep their heads up in the water, a handle on the collar to lift them, and a safety strap so the PFD does not slide up over their head. Test it first in a pool to make sure it works and fits properly.
A designated adult should be able to see the children in the boat at all times to make sure they don’t fall into the water.
If sleeping on board a boat, make sure young children cannot open a door or window and get outside unsupervised.
Inspect all your equipment before departure.
Buckle up your life jacket or PFD before getting on board.
Check the forecast for weather and water conditions before heading out and keep a watchful eye out for changing conditions.
Study and carry your marine charts.
Leave a trip/rescue plan with a responsible person.
Don’t cruise with booze.