Breaking Bad Habits Behind the Wheel

Let’s face the facts — we’re all guilty of at least one bad habit when we’re behind the wheel. In fact, a 2015 study from the Ontario insurance company Kanetix found that nearly 75 per cent of all drivers admitted to some kind of bad habit. The good news is that most of these bad habits are easy to reverse, meaning you’re helping to ensure our roads are just a little bit safer.

Using Your Cell Phone

Despite varied penalties across the country, including fines as high as $1,200, people are still tempted to pick up the cell phone when they should keep both hands at ten-and-two. According to the CAA, drivers who text and drive are 23 times more likely to get into an accident than a driver who is cellphone free.

Not Shoulder Checking

Yeah, this may seem insignificant, but do you really want to be sideswiped — or sideswipe someone? Your car’s blind spots, usually about 45 degrees behind your shoulders, can hide a lot of things. Similarly, it’s good to shoulder check when you’re stopped at a light, about to turn right. This way you can avoid hitting a bicycle coming up in the lane or the pedestrian running to catch the light.

Running Red Lights

In 2014, the City of Saskatoon collected more than $1.1 million in fines from red light camera tickets. Love them or hate them, this number indicates that there’s a problem with people who aren’t stopping when a light is red. Since the cameras were introduced, Saskatoon has seen a decrease of as much of 45 per cent in the number of t-bone accidents in intersections. This mean fewer injuries or fatalities.

Speeding

Sure, there’s something thrilling about opening up on an empty highway, but excessive speeding can lead to some serious problems. Things can change quickly on the road — an animal can come out of nowhere or someone can swerve into your lane, and if you’re speeding you’ll have less time to react properly. Remember that staying within the speed limit is about everyone’s safety, not just your own.

Drinking and driving

Just don’t do it. Not even a little bit. Take a cab, designate a driver, walk… whatever you have to do, do it. But don’t get behind the wheel after too many beers.