• 15 Rules Everyone Should Follow

  • There are more than 450,000 vehicle collisions every year in Canada. With this scary statistic in mind taking a course sounds like a good idea to sharpen my skills before applying for a licence. Learning that being both pro-active and responsive, drivers could reduce the number of crashes drastically and take the driver’s test, confidently.

    Using these tips, we could make the roads safer for everyone:

    Always plan your trip: Choose the safest route to your destination and know ahead of time which lane and when is the correct one.

    Circle check: Before getting in a vehicle, walk around it to look for damage or objects blocking the car.

    Slow and steady wins the race: Speeders and constant lane changers don’t get to their destination much faster than those travelling at a steady speed – and they brake more often.

    MELT: This is short for Minimum Eye Lead Time. In urban areas, you should be scanning the road 12-15 seconds ahead – or about one city block. On the highway, it’s 20-30 seconds – or as far as the eye can see. Vision is a driver’s first line of defence, and it’s always better to anticipate hazards rather than react to them.

    Keep your distance: Maintain a following speed of two seconds behind the car ahead on city roads, 3-4 seconds on the highway, and 4 seconds in inclement weather.

    The eyes have it: Move them, every two seconds. Glance, don’t look.

    Check: Rear mirror? Check. Side mirrors? Check. Every 5-8 seconds. Check them before slowing, before and after turning, while stopping, and while stopped.

    Scan: All parked vehicles for occupants. There’s nothing quite like a car door opening unexpectedly.

    Parking: Whenever possible, back into a parking space. The blind spot at the rear of a vehicle is larger than in front.

    Wise words: “Don’t argue with trucks, they’re bigger than you.”

    Road rage: “When I drive I always bring my dog with me – F.I.D.O: Forget It Drive On.”

    Being tailgated? Take your foot off the gas to gradually decrease speed. The tailgater will pass.

    Blind spots: Don’t stay in another driver’s for more than three seconds.

    At a red light: Watch your rear-view mirror as you stop. Avoid sudden stops in front of another vehicle. Hesitate slightly before moving off after the light turns green.

    Left turns: Position your vehicle when waiting to allow yourself and others to spot problems. Wait with your wheels straight before making a turn (not pointed in the direction you wish to go). Should a vehicle strike you from behind, you won’t be pushed into oncoming traffic.

    ROAD TEST TIPS

    • Look left, centre, right (exaggerate your movements) at every intersection.
    • Check your mirrors often (exaggerate and look up using your neck).
    • Signal left or right when pulling out of a parking spot.
    • Drive in the right lane as much as possible.
    • Don’t sigh. It reveals that you just made a mistake, one that maybe the examiner might have missed.