Preparing for Your Trip

Family packs car for road trip

More fatalities occur on Canadian roads during the summer months than at any other time of year, according to the Canada Safety Council. Whether you’re out for a day trip, heading to the cottage, or taking a cross-country holiday, put safety first when you set out on your travels.

If you spend a certain amount of time driving your vehicle outside of your home province, you may need to have your auto insurance coverage adjusted. Different provinces and countries have different insurance legislation. Your broker can give you advice to ensure your auto insurance protection suits your vacation plans.

Driving Tips for Road Trips

To ensure your peace of mind when you hit the road this summer, make sure you do the following:

Prepare your vehicle.

Have your vehicle checked to make sure everything is working properly. Repair or
replace worn parts to avoid the worry and time-consuming costly repairs that could ruin your trip. Check fluid
levels and tire pressure. Make sure all lights work, including signal lights. Read our auto care tips for summer

Keep your passengers safe.

Make sure everyone in your vehicle buckles up properly when you’re driving.
Take plenty of rest stops and enjoy the ride.

Drive defensively.

Drive at a safe speed to decrease the likelihood and severity of a crash. A speeding vehicle requires more time and distance to stop. Leave plenty of distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead. Consider applying the three-second rule so you can see around the car ahead and plan to avoid potential dangers, add more time if you have a heavier vehicle, and/or in poor weather conditions. Be prepared for the unsafe actions of other motorists. Obey all signs and signals, including speed limits, traffic lights, stop signs and railway crossings.

Stay alert.

Some Canadians travel long distances when they go on vacation. This creates a temptation to keep driving for extended periods even when tired. Routes can be quite monotonous—another factor that can make a driver sleepy. Get a good sleep before leaving on a long trip. If you started early, stop early. Rest stops are important. A break keeps the driver alert by promoting blood circulation, makes the trip more pleasant for passengers and lets the vehicle cool down.

Carrying or towing a heavy load.

Make sure your vehicle is properly equipped for the job. Check your Owner’s Manual or contact your vehicle dealer. Check that your rear-view mirrors give a clear view of the road behind. Driving a heavily loaded car or towing a trailer means you need more space to stop or pass. Leave plenty of distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead. For conditions that are less than ideal, increase the following distance. Be courteous and pull over where possible to let faster vehicles pass.

Share the road.

Hot weather brings out all types of road users. Motorists must be cautious of cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. Always be on the lookout for and yield to more vulnerable road users, even if they don’t have the right-of-way. Summer also brings increased construction on our roads and highways. Be prepared to stop or slow down in construction zones.