2017: The Year of Good Driving Habits

The new year is often synonymous with new habits.

For some, this means getting back into shape, spending more time with loved ones, or even making more money.

But have you ever considered making 2017 the year of good driving habits?

If not, it’s never too late to check whether you follow our suggestions on how to drive safely and more comfortably.

1. Keep a safe distance

Driving too close to the vehicle in front of you is dangerous.

You can’t predict the actions and behaviour of other drivers. An abrupt stop at an orange light, passing without signaling or even a stalled vehicle are all it takes for an accident to happen! Keeping a safe distance gives you time to react and avoid an accident.

Counting seconds is the best way to find out if you respect safety distances. The minimum distance between two vehicles should equal three seconds.

2. Respect speed limits

Numerous studies show that speeding is one the leading causes of road accidents in Canada. If you don’t want to be part of these statistics, there are few things you should know.

What the law says: As the driver of a motor vehicle, you are allowed to follow the speed indicated on road signs.[1]

Remember that the faster you drive, the less time you have to react. Accidents happen quickly and reflexes don’t always kick in on time to react, take the necessary measures and avoid a collision.

Did you know? Reducing the traffic speed by only 5 km/h would decrease the number of accidents by 15%[2].

Trafic jam stopping cars on highway

3. Fasten your seat belt

The effectiveness of seat belts has been proven for years now. A seat belt reduces by half the risk of being killed or seriously injured in an accident[4].

What the law says: Wearing a seat belt is mandatory.[5]

WARNING: Before taking off, whether in your vehicle or in a taxi, make sure all your passengers, especially children, have buckled their seat belts!

Did you know? Getting into a car accident at 100 km/h is like falling from a 14-storey building[6]. Fastening your seat belt could prevent such a fall!

4. Make sure you see well

Safe driving and proper visibility go hand in hand.

It’s crucial that your windshield and car windows be clean and clear of anything to make sure you see properly.

What Canadian safety standards say: The windshield and car windows must ensure the driver’s maximum visibility and be free from anything that could impair the driver’s visibility. This means they must comply with the standards set out in the regulation.[7] (Technical Standard No. 212 – Windshield Mounting).

Someone caught driving with a windshield or window that hinders his/her visibility or the visibility of other drivers could be fined between $56 and $500 depending on the province, and be required to repair the damage within a specific time frame.[8]

Did you know? In case of an accident, the quality of your windshield’s installation is crucial. Your windshield plays a fundamental role. It represents 30% of your vehicle’s structure. The windshield prevents you from being thrown out of the vehicle, stops your roof from caving in, absorbs shocks and helps the air bags work properly to protect your passenger.

Any questions about a windshield or window repair or replacement? Don’t hesitate to come by your closest Service Centre and ask our Speedy Glass expert technicians.

To find your closest centre, click HERE .

5. Make sure your light signals work properly

To drive safely, you have to see well, but you also have to be seen!

Make sure all of your light signals comply with the manufacturer’s standards, work properly, are clean and made up of at least 75% light-emitting diodes for lights, and 100% for headlights.[9]

A tip from Speedy Glass: At night, make sure that your low beams let you see 45 to 75 metres ahead and that your high beams let you see no more than 150 metres ahead.

As for your tail lights, these let other drivers know you’re there.

Also, don’t forget to use your turn signals properly to warn other drivers of that you’re changing direction.

Did you know? Be careful not to blind other drivers. As a responsible driver, you should lower your beams within at least 150 metres when public lighting is bright enough or when you’re on a busy road. We also suggest you do the same when you see an oncoming vehicle or when another vehicle is following you.

 

View behind you through your wing mirror on a highway

6. Make sure the driver is physically fit

When you’re on the road, you’re indirectly responsible for the lives of several people, whether you’re by yourself or with passengers, or even considering the other vehicles out there.

You must always be aware of:

How tired you are. If you’re tired, your driving reflexes won’t be as good because you’ll have trouble concentrating. In that case, it’s better to let someone else drive.

How far you have to travel. If you’re on the road for a long time, don’t forget to rest before you leave, stop every two hours along the way, and adapt your driving position so you stay well focused.

If you have you been drinking. You’ve spent the night out with friends and have had a few drinks?

What the law says: If you’re over the legal limit of 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood (0.08), it’s against the law to get behind the wheel[10].

Why? Alcohol reduces your reaction time, alertness and the physical coordination you need to be able to drive. In this case, it’s better to let someone else drive or call a cab.

Did you know? Penalties for drinking and driving include a minimum fine of $1,000, license revocation for at least one year and a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life.[11]

7. Use your horn, but use it well

Honk less, but honk better!

Although horns are mandatory on all motor vehicles in Canada, drivers use them more when they’re impatient or to lock their vehicles remotely rather than to make their presence known in case of danger.

Did you know? Known as one of the most common causes of noise pollution, the sound level of a typical car horn must be between 82 and 102 decibels over a 15-metre distance in order to meet standards.

A wet car window without visibility

8. Adapt your driving

Being a good driver means adapting your driving based on the weather.

The weather changes quickly in Canada. It’s extremely cold one day and raining the next, or the sun is so bright that you can’t see anything. To ensure your safety on the road, your driving habits must change with the seasons.

A tip from Speedy Glass: Adapt your speed according to the weather! Whether it’s because of the total darkness, fog, rain or other types of precipitation, or when the roads are slippery and have not been completely cleared, we strongly suggest you reduce your speed and adapt your driving accordingly to avoid an accident.

Which of these good driving habits do you already have and which will you adopt as part of your resolutions for 2017?

Speedy Glass wishes you safe and happy travels!

 

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Sources: 

[1] https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/tp-tp15145-1201.htm
[2] https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/road-safety/behaviours/speed/did-you-know/
[3] https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/road-safety/behaviours/seat-belts/
[4] https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/tp-tp15145-1201.htm#s31
[5] https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/road-safety/behaviours/seat-belts/did-you-know/
[6] http://lois-laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/C.R.C.%2C_c._1038/FullText.html#s-5 and https://www.tc.gc.ca/media/documents/roadsafety/212_TSD_rev_0R.pdf
 [7] http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/culture/commuting/is-it-safe-to-drive-with-a-crack-in-your-windshield/article4425719/
[8] http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/acts-regulations/regulations-crc-c1038.htm
[9] https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/road-safety/behaviours/drinking-and-driving/what-the-law-says/
[10] https://canadasafetycouncil.org/safety-canada-online/article/does-canada-compare-international-perspective-blood-alcohol-laws

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