When you’re behind the wheel, it’s important that you follow the rules of the road. You should also drive defensively, which means anticipating potential hazards. But how do you practice defensive driving? These tips should help you become a better defensive driver.
Stay alert and avoid distractions. To drive
defensively, you need to be aware of your surroundings. That means you shouldn’t
drive when you’re not alert, so avoid any possible distractions. This includes
your phone, radio, or eating while driving.
Keep a safe following distance. You need plenty of
space between you and the car in front of you so you can stop with enough space
to avoid a collision. Consider following the three-second rule. It should take
you at least three seconds to catch up with them if they come to a full stop.
Increase this time to six seconds if it’s nighttime or if there’s bad weather.
Drive at a safe speed. Speed limits exist to keep you
safe. Staying within this range will allow you to anticipate potential hazards
Check your mirrors. Being aware of your surroundings
is imperative to defensive driving. Continually check your mirrors so you know
where pedestrians, other vehicles, and other obstacles are at all times.
The vehicles at High River Toyota have many safety tools installed to help you become a safer driver.
The number of collisions caused by distracted driving is increasing every year. Because distracted driving has become such a large issue, all 10 provinces in Canada have some form of cell phone/distracted driving legislation. In Alberta, that includes a fine of $287 and 3 demerits on your licence. Here, we look at some tips for safe driving that will help reduce distractions.
Put Your Phone Away
Texting and making phone calls when driving is dangerous. To avoid the temptation to do so, consider putting your phone in your glove box or centre console storage. That way, even if you get a message on the go, you won’t even know you have.
Don’t Eat While on the Road
Eating snacks while you’re driving might seem like a good idea – especially on long road trips – but it can pull your eyes away from the road ahead. If you’re hungry, consider parking in a parking lot or, better yet, taking an hour’s break from your drive and sit in at a local restaurant.
Set Your GPS Before You Leave
Fiddling with your navigation system when your car is moving is as dangerous as sending a text. Enter your destination into the system before you leave or pull over to do so.
Turn Down Your Music
There’s nothing more enjoyable than rolling the windows down and blasting some tunes when the weather’s nice. This can qualify as distracted driving, though, and make hearing emergency sirens difficult. Consider turning the music down to ensure you’re not distracted by your favourite song while behind the wheel.
The Toyota Canada Foundation funded a recent study from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation that suggests Canadian seniors could play an integral role in the wider adoption of semi-autonomous vehicles.
“Our findings were quite surprising and showed that older drivers are very receptive to using semi-automated vehicles,” said Robyn Robertson, President and CEO of TIRF. “This is counter-intuitive as the adoption of new technologies is typically associated with a young demographic.”
According to the TIRF, older drivers better recognize the benefits of semi-autonomous technology in terms of improving safety. They’re also more likely to see the advancement of technology as a means to prolong their mobility safely as they begin to reach ages where cognitive and physical decline can occur.
Robertson suggests that Canadian seniors could take the reins and become leaders with respect to the adoption of self-driving vehicle technology, saying, “Senior drivers seem to possess important characteristics that make them ideal candidates for safe early adoption.”
Toyota has proven itself a leader with respect to cutting-edge safety, offering Toyota Safety Sense™ technologies like Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control as standard equipment in much of its lineup. To see more of what Toyota is doing to improve the quality of life on the road for all Canadians, visit High River Toyota.