When long weekend road trips get stressful, remember these tips to stay zen behind the wheel.
Driving on a long weekend can be daunting. More traffic, longer travel times and unpredictable weather can rile up even the calmest of drivers. But don’t let the stress get to you – just use these 5 tips on how to keep your cool on long weekend drives.
1. Put the phone away
The hard truth: It’s more important than ever to focus on the road. In 2016, for the fourth consecutive year, the OPP reported that distracted driving caused more deaths in Ontario than speeding, people not wearing seatbelts, and even drunk driving. With more cars on the road every holiday weekend, the risk of a collision goes up.
Keep your cool: Want to be a true beacon of calm and collected driving? Silence those pesky device notifications tempting you to check your phone while you’re driving. Ask your passengers to tune the radio, adjust climate settings, or even answer your phone for you! A distraction-free driver is a happier driver.
2. Be prepared for anything
The hard truth: We know Canadian weather is all over the place. Frankly, it seems particularly unpredictable right when our precious long weekends come around. And when the weather mucks up your weekend plans, it’s easy to get frustrated on the road.
Keep your cool: Check weather and road conditions before you leave and double check that your roadside emergency kit is fully stocked. Knowing you’re prepared for any situation will help keep your trip stress-free.
Pro-tip: Check out our winter driving and tire pressure safety tips to be fully prepared.
3. Stay sober
The hard truth: Drug-impaired driving is trending the wrong way. Stats from 2017 reveal that there has been a 38% increase from 2016, along with a consistent rate of drunk-driving charges.
Keep your cool: There’s nothing more stressful than a collision while you’re behind the wheel. Stay sober and avoid putting yourself and others at risk. No brainer.
4. Go back to the basics
The hard truth: Canadians take driving etiquette seriously. It’s part of our polite sensibilities. So when someone pulls a sloppy or inconsiderate (or downright dangerous) move on the road – like not using turn signals or leaving high-beams on – it can get other drivers’ blood boiling. Following basic driving rules isn’t just about etiquette, though – it’s the law.
Keep your cool: It’s easy to let the simple stuff slip over the years. By paying attention to the basics and reinforcing good driving practices, you can help keep our roads safer and calmer.
5. Don’t drive sleepy
The hard truth: Transport Canada reports that 60% of Canadian drivers admit to occasionally driving while fatigued and a whopping 15% admit that they’ve fallen asleep while driving. Holy moly. That is a scary revelation, considering that roughly 20% of fatal collisions involve driver fatigue.
Keep your cool: If you’re feeling tired or restless, make a pit stop. Take a bathroom break, fill-up on snacks or take a walk around to get your body moving and your blood pumping. On long drives, a quick refresher goes a long way.
Pro-tip: Take a break from driving when you notice these common signs of fatigue:
- Trouble keeping your eyes focused or open
- Wandering or disconnected thoughts
- Realizing you’re slowing down unintentionally
- Late braking
- Can’t remember the last few kilometers driven
- Veering onto the road shoulder or centre line
Drive safely and enjoy your long weekend,