A lot of Canadians will be travelling this long weekend – be it for camping, visiting family, or even just a day trip for recreation purposes. And that means extra cars on the road. We’ve taken this opportunity to collect some great tips on driving safely when wildlife is around, as well as general road safety tips for travel.
Be aware of wildlife
- Scan the road and ditches ahead for animals, especially when travelling at dawn or dusk
- Whenever there is a change in season or time, be aware that wildlife may require time to adapt to the ‘new normal’ set by commuters and other people.
- Slow down in a curve, when reaching the crest of a hill or in wildlife populated areas
- Watch for the shining eyes or silhouette of an animal at night and use high beams
- Slow down if an animal is on or near the road and be prepared to stop, as their behaviour is unpredictable – an animal that has crossed the road can turn back in the vehicle’s path
- Look for more than one animal – some travel in groups
- Honk in a series of short bursts to chase animals away
- Leave a lot a room when driving around an animal on or near the road – a frightened animal may run in any direction
- Watch for wildlife warning signs, use extra caution and slow down in areas where animal crossing signs are posted
General Road Safety
- Make sure your vehicle has been recently checked by a mechanic, and replace or repair parts. Also make sure fluid levels and tire pressure are acceptable.
- Consider the conditions and make sure you’re using appropriate tires and maintenance methods.
- Wearing your seatbelt is the single most effective thing you can do to keep yourself and your passengers safe. Buckle up!
- Stay alert: take breaks if you’re feeling tired, play vocal games with passengers or even bring along a CD of stand-up comedy to help stay focused.
- Before attaching a trailer of any kind, review your owner’s manual to be sure your vehicle is equipped for the job. Leave extra space while towing a trailer, too, as you’ll need more space to stop.
- Be prepared to slow down in construction zones, which are common in our Canadian summers.