Common sense accident avoidance tips

Your attention should always be focused on the road.

Sarah Twomey, Desjardins Group

Imagine if you could program your car to take you where you wanted to go. It will still be several years before this technology hits the market.

So in the meantime here are some reminders to help you avoid an accident:

1. Speeding : This is one of the leading causes of road accidents. Even if you think you are in total control of your vehicle, respect the speed limit. Remember -- you're not alone on the road and accidents happen without warning.

2. Cellphones at the wheel: Even though you can use your cellphone while driving by way of a hands-free device, it is recommended that you use it as little as possible. Your attention should always be focused on the road, so it's best to eliminate as many distractions as possible.

3. Drinking and Driving: If you feel you've had a few too many, plan on getting home safely by choosing:
• A designated driver
• To take a cab
• Public transit
• To ask your hosts if you can stay the night

4. Drowsiness at the wheel: As soon as you feel the first signs of fatigue (frequent yawning, itchy eyes, heavy eyelids, etc.), stop at a safe place and rest for a few minutes.

5. Highway driving and heavy vehicles: Make sure the drivers of heavy vehicles can see you and that you keep a reasonable distance. You must be able to see one of the vehicle's side mirrors at all times. Keep in mind when passing a heavy vehicle that the driver may not see you when you are beside him/her. If you notice the driver starting to change lanes, accelerate or slow down so that he/she can see you.


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