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A Summer Guide to Safe Driving

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Photo of infant seat

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Could you stop in time to avoid a collision?

As you head out on the roads and highways during the summer, here are a few tips to keep in mind to keep you and your family safe.

Summer brings increased traffic to our roads and highways.

During the summer, tourists and vacationers add to the usual amount of traffic we face on our everyday routes. The weekends are also busier than usual, with people travelling to cottages, golf courses or one of Ontario's great tourist attractions.

Safe Driving Practices

Like any time of year, safe driving practices are the best way to deal with increased traffic. It can get hectic out there, so try to stay calm. Drive at a safe speed and be courteous to other drivers. Speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic and not yielding the right-of-way can lead to collisions.

If you're tired at the wheel, stop at a safe rest area, or take a break and treat yourself to a coffee or an ice cream. You'll feel rejuvenated and more alert.

Always Remember to Buckle Up

And as always, make sure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up, and babies and young children are in car seats and booster seats. Proper use of seat belts and child car seats, including booster seats, is the single most effective way to reduce vehicle-related injuries and fatalities.

Seat belts, child car seats and booster seats can save lives.

Health Canada statistics show that motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death among children from one to nine years of age.

Packing Your Car

On Friday night and Saturday mornings, the highways are full of vehicles stuffed to the max with supplies for the weekend, as well as sporting and camping equipment.

If you're heading out to the cottage, don't let these extra items block your view of the road. Make sure any loads are securely tied onto your vehicle, and if you are carrying a large load, slow down.

Tie down loads and make sure you have a clear view of the road.

Keep on the Lookout

In addition to the number of cars on the road, cyclists and motorcyclists come out of hibernation in the summer and can be hard to spot.

There is also increased activity close to the road. Once school is out, more children are playing outside. There are rollerbladers, skateboarders and scooters on sidewalks and streets, and all-terrain vehicles can appear unexpectedly by the side of the road.

Watch for pedestrians and activity by the side of the road.

In general, there are more people out enjoying the season, so you need to be on the lookout for pedestrians.

Don't Drink and Drive

Summer also gives us lots of opportunities to get together with family and friends. If you are going to have a few drinks at a picnic or barbeque, make sure you have a designated driver.

Summer is also prom season. If your son or daughter is graduating this year, find out what the high school is doing to make sure students don't drink and drive during or after the festivities.

Construction Season

And as everyone knows, summer also brings increased construction on our roads and highways. Keep road workers safe by being prepared to stop or slow down in construction zones.

Be prepared to stop in construction zones.

For updates on summer road construction, please visit our road construction reports page or call 416-235-4MTO in Toronto, or 1-800-268-4MTO if you are calling from outside of Toronto.

In any season it's a good idea to continually improve your safe driving skills. The MTO Web site has a list of advanced driving courses offered throughout the province.