1.) Arrive safely - Always appoint a designated driver when attending seasonal gatherings. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, on average, four Canadians are killed and approximately 190 Canadians are injured daily as a result of alcohol/drug related crashes.
2.) Be aware of distracted drivers - Actions such as cell phone usage, eating/drinking, personal grooming or reading maps can take a driver's attention off the road. Always expect the unexpected and leave yourself a way out.
3.) Develop a driving emergency kit -Carry a blanket, flashlight, candles, matches, jumper cables and a shovel in your trunk. Kitty litter or sand is also useful to gain traction if you happen to get stuck.
4.) Sharing the road with commercial vehicles - Commercial vehicles can be a lot heavier than an average car, and need much more time and distance to stop. Avoid cutting in front of trucks or braking suddenly in front of them. Remember, if you can't see the driver's face in their side view mirror, they can't see you.
5.) Keep headlights and tail lights clean - Dark winter days make it more difficult to see other motorists and pedestrians.
Turn headlights on at least a half hour before sunset to increase your visibility and keep windshields and mirrors clean to avoid glare. Don't look directly at oncoming headlights; instead avert your eyes to the right side of the road.
6.) Buckle up - Wear your safety belt properly every time you get behind the wheel, even for short distances - and make sure your passengers do too!
Young children should always be securely strapped in an age-appropriate car seat. If you need assistance with proper installation, contact your local police service or public health unit.