Long weekend - Safety Tips
The long weekend means road trips for many families. During the summer months, for example, travellers can expect increased traffic of all types of vehicles including motorcycles, recreation vehicles, plus camper trailers and boat trailers. Planning your road travels in advance, driving safe, staying focused, and adhering to the posted speed limits will help you reach your destination safely, plus reduce your vehicle’s fuel consumption.
Impaired driving costs – legal, financial, social consequences, and loss of life. Make the right decision for everyone. Don’t drive if you're fatigued, or if you’ve been drinking or using drugs. Plan ahead for a safe transportation.
All major roads heading out of the city are usually jammed on the Friday of a long weekend. The best approach is to plan ahead for this, and build into your schedule enough time to comfortably arrive at your destination without the stress of a rushed drive.
- Plan your route carefully to avoid driving unnecessary kilometres and share your route with those expecting your arrival.
- Check weather and road conditions to and from the destination and allow enough time to reach your destination.
- Keep a safe distance behind big trucks and RVs – stay out of blind spots
- Maintain the speed limit
- Pack snacks and refreshments for your crew
- Have a plan to change drivers to avoid fatigue
- Map out potential resting areas along the highway
- Ensure your car is in good working order
- Buckle up, keep eyes on the road, hands on the wheel
- Slow to 60 kilometres per hour when passing emergency vehicles such as tow truck operators assisting motorists, ambulances, and law enforcement
- Eliminate driver distractions such as cell phones, eating, drinking, adjusting radio dials, conversations and smoking
- Carry a fully-charged cell phone for emergency purposes and appoint a passenger to manage your phone and satellite navigation needs
- Pull over safely to make phone calls, text or review maps
- Remain focused and attentive
- Don’t drive under the influence
- Make sure the weight of the trailer does not exceed the vehicle’s towing capacity because this could pose a safety risk
- Be extra cautious when changing lanes, making turns and especially when slowing down since the load could significantly increase the distance required to stop
- Motorists should also ensure that the trailer is securely attached to the vehicle and check this throughout the trip
- Check the wheels on recreation vehicles, boat trailers and camper trailers. The wheel lug nuts need to be set to the proper torque to make sure they do not come loose or come off the trailer. Wheel bearings should be greased and adjusted annually and trailer suspension springs also need to be inspected for wear
- Pack an emergency kit that includes flashlight, booster cables, tire puncture sealant, first-aid kit, flares, drinking water and a charged cellphone.
It is a different world out on the water and sometimes people overestimate their knowledge of operating a boat and find themselves in dangerous situations.
- Rule #1: wear your lifejacket and make sure there enough personal floatation devices on board for everyone
- Have your boating license on you
- Be prepared and have everything you need, including lifejackets, whistle, flashlight, bailer, paddle, rope
- Make sure you know the lakes and where markers for rocks are
- Keep a jerrycan of extra gas
- Make sure your boat is in good working order (especially after hibernation from the winter)
- Have a cell phone with you in case of emergency
- Check the weather forecast before heading out
- Drive defensively
- Never drive while impaired
- Reduce speed and be alert to other boats and people in the water
- Wear personal protection equipment
- Always have another person with you on board as a spotter, especially when towing a skier or tube
Opening your cottage or lakehouse...
Cottages that haven’t been used all winter could have felt the harsh wrath of Mother Nature. Before you get to enjoy the summer cottage, here’s a quick checklist to review:
- Inspect your hydro meter and any power lines for damage
- Inspect visible wiring to outdoor lighting fixtures, water pumps and other equipment
- Check your water tank and watch for any leaks in the valves
- Check for any damage to phone lines, the chimney, the deck, the dock, windows, screens, and under the cottage at the posts, pads, and beams
- Be careful with the terrain, especially around the deck and docks that might be slippery from the winter
- Watch for loose branches or anything that might be hazardous