A new year has SGI reminding drivers to take care out there, and they are doing that by offering tips on how to avoid a collision.
“Times are tough for many people right now; inflation is making everything more expensive, and no one wants to deal with the added expense and hassle of a collision,” said JP Cullen, Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund. “You can make a few easy changes to your driving habits to help keep us all safe. Those changes will save you both time and money.”
Being responsible for a vehicle collision comes with several costs and inconveniences:
- Being without a vehicle while yours is repaired (and supply chain issues are making those repair periods longer),
- Having to purchase a new vehicle if yours is written off,
- Paying a deductible,
- Demerits that reduce your insurance discount, trigger a financial penalty, or
- Potentially paying a ticket if a traffic offence resulted in the collision (plus additional demerits).
SGI has a few tips on how to avoid getting into a collision, to keep you safe and save you time, trouble and money:
Take extra care at intersections
- Nearly half of all collisions occur at intersections. Pay attention to what’s going on around you when approaching them.
- Look both ways before entering any intersection.
- Yield the right of way.
- Anticipate the traffic light changing to avoid running through an amber or red light.
- Always signal and use correct procedures for turning – don’t rely on other drivers to execute their turns correctly.
Drive for road conditions
- Adjust your driving for road and weather conditions
- Give yourself more travel time to arrive at your destination.
- Increase your following distance.
- Slow down when necessary.
Be alert and eliminate distractions
- Driving requires your full, undivided attention. Keep your focus on the road.
- Avoid actions that take your attention away from driving, like eating, grooming, talking or texting on cell phones.
- Ensure any passengers know your focus needs to get everyone to their destination safely.
Maintain a safe following distance
- Leave at least three seconds between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.
- Increase your following distance if the road is slippery or visibility is reduced.
Respect speed limits
- Speeding increases the crash risk because you have less time to react to things like other drivers, traffic lights or pedestrians.
- The faster you go, the more severe the crash.
“We’ll always be concerned about keeping people safe, and that’s still the most important reason to avoid collisions,” said Cullen. “Let’s do both – keep you safe and avoid the other hardships collisions cause.”
As part of the Traffic Safety Spotlight for January and February, law enforcement will have an eye on driving behaviour at intersections, which is one more reason to take particular care when going through them.