To be a safe driver, you must know the traffic laws and driving practices to move traffic safely because breaking these rules is the major cause of collisions. Traffic laws are made by federal, provincial and municipal governments and the police enforce them at each level. Breaking the law may result in being fined, losing your license or being jailed.
Road Safety Driving Tips
Obeying the rules is important, but you must also care about the safety of others on the road since it is everyone’s responsibility to avoid collisions. Drivers have to co-operate to keep traffic moving safely, so you must be courteous and predictable and do what other people using the road expect you to do. Being a safe and courteous driver means giving other drivers time to react to your next move, whether it’s giving them space to change lanes or signalling your turns before you act. Whether you’re driving on the highways or in your own community, you should be a defensive or strategic driver and see dangerous situations before they happen and respond quickly.
According to the Ministry of Transportation, defensive driving is based on three ideas: visibility, space and communication.
- Visibility is about seeing and being seen, so keep your eyes constantly moving and be aware of traffic in front, behind and beside you.
- Managing the space and leaving a cushion around your vehicle gives you time and space to avoid a collision.
- Communicate with other road users and make eye contact with pedestrians, cyclists and drivers at intersections. Signal whenever you want to slow down, stop, turn or change lanes.
When it comes to getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, how do the drivers in your city rank? According to an Allstate 2011 Ontario Safe Driving Study, an in-depth study of company collision data was compiled to determine the safest communities to drive in Ontario.
|Community||Region||Population (2006 Census)||2009–2011 Number of Collision Claims per 100 cars||2009-2011 Ranking||2007-2009 Ranking|
Another study included data from communities with at least 900 cars insured by Allstate Canada during the two-year period of 2010 and 2012 in comparison to the previous two-year period of 2008-2010.
Among the province’s five most populous areas, Hamilton ranked the safest, with a 5.24% collision claim rate. Mississauga ranked next at 5.81%, followed by Ottawa (6.10%), Toronto (6.12%) and Brampton (6.45%).
The region of Northern Ontario had the lowest crash frequency (3.87%), whereas the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) region had the highest (5.63%).
Apart from Brockville, the places in Ontario with the lowest collision rates were:
- Welland, southwest Ontario (3.24%)
- Chatham, southwest Ontario (3.27%)
- Amherstburg, southwest Ontario (3.50%)
- Sarnia, southwest Ontario (3.62%), and
- St. Thomas, southwest Ontario (3.84%)
And apart from Brampton, the places in Ontario with the highest collision rates are:
- Milton, GTA (6.32%)
- Maple, GTA (6.14%)
- Toronto, GTA (6.12%)
- Ottawa, eastern Ontario (6.10%)
- Pickering, GTA (5.98%)
Our location in the GTA makes for a fairly high collision rate, so make sure you practice your defensive driving habits.