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Canada Safe Driving Week

May 14-20, 2019 is Canada Road Safety Week.

This initiative led by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP)’s Traffic Safety Committee is designed to promote safe driving behaviours in order to save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.

Did you know that Canada has one of the highest motor vehicle fatality rates among high-income countries in the world? We suffer 5.2 motor vehicle fatalities per 100,000 people!

What’s An Accident?

You have probably heard someone say “I got into a car accident” at least once or twice in your life, but are motor vehicle collisions really accidents? Ask any police officer or health and safety advocate and they will tell you they’re usually not.

An accident is “an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance”. Obviously, no one plans to cause a collision, but when alcohol, drugs, high speed, aggression or ignorance are involved, it is hardly an unforeseen outcome.

Decisions like driving while impaired, distracted driving, driving aggressively, or ignoring rules and etiquette significantly increase the chances a person will be involved in a collision.

What Can You Do?

There are many ways that you can contribute to safer roads for everyone.

  • Study the Alberta Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing and make sure you understand the rules and recommendations in it.
  • Take new driver education training through a licensed driver training school.
  • Participate in proactive/defensive driving, winter driving or brush up courses from a licensed driver training school.
  • Slow down! Speeding rarely gets you anywhere any faster. All it does is increase your risk of causing a collision and your chances of getting a speeding ticket.
  • Be a respectful driver. Don’t weave in and out of traffic, tailgate other drivers, or fail to yield to the right of way.
  • Be predictable. By following the rules and etiquette around things like proper signalling, respecting the right-of-way, driving with the flow of traffic, keeping right except to pass, and staying out of other drivers’ blind spots as much as possible, you make everyone’s drive safer, faster and less stressful.
  • Always make sure you are well-rested, alert and sober when you get behind the wheel.
  • Wear your seatbelt and demand that anyone riding in your vehicle does as well.
  • If you ride a motorcycle, take a training course through a respected provider and remember to exercise additional caution around other vehicles, as motorcyclists can be harder to spot than cars or trucks.
  • If you drive a Class 5 vehicle (personal car or truck), be on the lookout for smaller, more difficult to spot vehicles like motorcycles and bicycles.
  • Make sure you are always scanning the roadway and surrounding areas so you know what is around you and are less likely to be caught off guard by another vehicle, an animal or a pedestrian. Animals and children can be especially unpredictable, so pay attention!

What Are the Risk Factors?

There are several risk factors that increase your chances of getting into a collision:

  • Drug or Alcohol-Impaired Driving
  • Fatigue-Impaired Driving
  • Distracted Driving
  • Aggressive Driving
  • Driver Inexperience

Drive Safe Video Library

Learn more about your risks as a young driver and how you can stay safe by visiting our Drive Safe Video Library.