Spring driving safety tips

Des Ryan, a retired Toronto police officer and author of the Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series, is a CRA board director and our volunteer safety and security lead.

Did you know that your chances of being involved in a road accident are 30 per cent higher from June to August than at any other time of year?

Hard to believe, but it is true.

“The three-month period following spring marks the beginning of an unofficial ‘trauma season’ for both children and adults,” says Dr. Neil Merritt, a paediatric surgeon and a board director with the Trauma Association of Canada (TAC), a multidisciplinary society focused on the care of the injured patient and family. “Sadly, we see increased deaths and traumatic injuries, which we define as an injury of sudden onset and severity that requires medical attention.”

Why is this? Our driving patterns change. Kids are out of school, and we are driving long distances to cottages or vacation destinations. The volume of traffic increases, and we become impatient, driving faster on roads that we may be unfamiliar with.

Tired, anxious, and our minds wandering often result in our attention drifting—and our cars as well!

And then there is that Weekend Warrior factor: the increased use of alcohol or drugs during summer months.

As drivers, we need to take responsibility for our driving habits. Driving well-rested and sober is a no-brainer. Following the rules of the road and being mindful of speed limits is easy enough. Remembering that everyone else is as eager to get to where they are going as you are is another important step in road safety.

With that in mind, drive safely this summer!

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