Summer means busy streets in Ontario. Thousands of families and tourists will be hitting the roads for vacation in the coming months. In addition to an influx of drivers, hot temperatures, roadwork and pedestrians also make this time of year particularly dangerous for drivers.
The Ministry of Transportation’s latest road safety report showed the most vehicular fatalities occurring between May and September. To help you avoid a car accident this season, we’ve compiled several summer road safety tips.
Schedule Maintenance Now
Summer heat can put stress on your car’s engine and other parts. Schedule a tune-up now to avoid problems on your next road trip.
Ask your mechanic to look over your car and check your:
- Windshield wipers – Heat can wear the rubber on your wipers, which you will need during a summer storm.
- Tires – High temperatures increase the risk of a blown tire. Your mechanic should check your tire pressure and tread, and rotate your tires if necessary. To avoid hydroplaning during summer downpours, be sure to replace your tires as recommended.
- Brakes – Your brakes should be inspected regularly. Now is a good time for your mechanic to ensure they’re working properly.
Stay Alert and Aware
With more drivers on the road than usual, it’s especially important to limit distractions and focus on your driving. If you’re headed on a long road trip, plan stops along the way to avoid fatigue, or ask someone to swap driving responsibilities with you at regular intervals.
Pedestrians and bicyclists are more prevalent in the warmer months. Slow down and carefully monitor your surroundings when approaching:
- Parks and playgrounds
- Residential neighbourhoods
- Beaches and community pools
In Ontario, drivers must leave a meter of distance between themselves and a cyclist. Failing to do so can result in a $110 fine. If you’re unable to leave enough room, you may cross the road’s center line if doing so safely and legally. Otherwise, wait behind the cyclist until it is safe to pass.
GPS applications on your phone or other devices are incredibly distracting when behind the wheel of a car. If you’re heading out on a long drive, look at your route beforehand. Pull over if you need to consult a map or your GPS.
Since roadwork and construction are common during the warmer months, it’s also wise to have an alternate route planned. Ontario 511 provides updated traveller information so you can check road conditions, weather and traffic before you go.
Despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself facing an unexpected situation. Keep an emergency kit in your car should the unforeseen occur. It should include:
- First-aid kit
- Emergency flares or reflective cones
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Jumper cables or a portable battery charger
- Carjack and lug wrench
- Tow strap
- Water and non-perishable snacks
- Sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat
- Rags and gloves
- Duct tape
- Tire sealant
- Small tool kit
- Phone charger
It’s also wise to travel with a spare tire.
Now is a great time to brush up on basic car maintenance, such as changing a tire or jumpstarting your car. Invest in a repair manual that walks you through the process step-by-step, or ask your mechanic for tips.
Ontario Car Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, we can help. Call 905-522-9799 to schedule a complimentary consultation with our legal team. Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers serves clients in Hamilton, Burlington, Stoney Creek, Brantford and other nearby areas of Ontario.