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5 surprising road safety tips

By SmartCoverage Team on October 24th, 2018

When you’re behind the wheel, driving safely is crucial for both the driver and passengers. We’re all taught the basic dos and don’ts of road safety, but there are some surprising facts around driving that could change your driving game for good.

1. Avoid highways on a Friday

You might not think the day of the week could affect how safe your journey is, however a CBC analysis of traffic data collected over a five-year period revealed that more collisions happen on Toronto’s Highway 401 on a Friday than any other day of the week.

The statistics shared by Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation show 9,288 collisions on Fridays between 2011 and 2015. That's approximately 35 crashes every single Friday!

If you want to stay extra safe on the highways, Sunday is your safest day of the week, with 22 crashes a day, or 5,961 collisions over five years.

2. Make sure you’re caught up on sleep

While you’re probably smart enough not to drink and drive, did you know that driving while tired is just as dangerous as driving drunk? Lack of energy can affect your attention, memory and coordination skills just as much as a beer can. In fact, one study found that roughly 20% of all crashes were caused by fatigue.

Be aware of the signs of sleepiness: daydreaming, blinking more than usual, heavy eyelids and trouble keeping your head up. If you start to feel yourself nodding off while driving, pull over into a layby or other safe, spot and take a quick nap.

3. Stay out of the blind spot

We all know the importance of checking our own blind spot to make sure it's clear, but you should also be aware of other driver’s blind spots too. If you are driving alongside, slightly behind another car, they might not see you and this could cause an unexpected collision.

Be sure to drop back a little until you can see the face of the other driver in their rearview mirror.

4. Take fewer passengers

Driving safety doesn't just end with the driver of the car, the passengers play a huge role too. Loud music or conversation can act as a distraction, and the more people in the car the greater the risk of distracted driving becomes.

5. Invest in safety-promoting features

There are certain features you can install as additional safety blankets. Things like dash-cams or parking cameras help keep drivers out of trouble and record any incidents that do happen for insurance purposes. In some provinces having winter tires during the colder months are mandatory, however, it's a good idea to install them no matter where you live as they almost certainly improve safety.

Some cars are known as safe cars, and if you’re in the market for a new car it’s a good idea to hunt for one that is renowned for having a good safety record. Check with your salesman and do your own research. The better the history the safer you will be, and you’ll even make some insurance savings to boot.

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