OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 28, 2012) - With the summer season officially in full swing and youngsters across the province starting to enjoy the break from their studies, many Ontarians are eager to hit the road and make the most of the warm weather while it lasts. Be it for a cross-country adventure or a short drive to the local park, CAA North & East Ontario (CAANEO) reminds all motorists to be patient and exercise caution when travelling this summer.
"Summer driving can be just as precarious as winter driving, appreciating the additional pedestrian, cycling and vehicular traffic on our roadways. With this in mind, CAANEO encourages motorists to remain vigilant at all times and adhere to the rules of the road," said Tim Georgeoff, President and CEO of CAA North & East Ontario.
CAANEO offers the following helpful tips for staying safe on the roadways this summer:
- As more pedestrians, including children, will be out enjoying the sunshine, motorists need to take care to drive slowly through residential areas and watch for activity on the side of the road.
- The summer season is also construction season on Ontario roads and highways. Take care in construction zones; be prepared to stop or slow down and always be aware of workers on the side of the road.
- When packing the vehicle for your summer getaway, make sure that any camping or outdoor equipment is securely tied down and that none of the gear reduces your visibility of the road and others around you.
- Keep in mind that vacationers make the highways busier than usual, particularly on long weekends. Plan in advance by giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination and, as with any time of year, stay calm and use safe driving practices to keep you and your passengers safe. Additionally, patience on roadways is crucial; avoid speeding, tailgating, sudden braking and limit any distractions while you're behind the wheel.
- Make sure to always travel with a fully charged cell phone and an emergency road safety kit. Keep in mind that under Ontario's distracted driving law it is illegal to talk, text, dial or type using a hand-held cell phone or other hand-held communications device while driving. If a phone call on a hand-held device must be made, have a passenger make the call or wait until you are able to find a safe place to get off the road.
- Getting together with family and friends is a common and favourite occurrence during the summer months. If you plan to have a few alcoholic drinks at a pool party or barbecue, make arrangements to get home safely, either by designating a driver, taking a cab or public transportation, or making use of CAANEO's Drive You Home service for Plus and Premier Members. Always use common sense and never drink and drive.
Warmer weather also means an increased presence of cyclists and motorcyclists on the roads. Remember to keep an eye out for these smaller vehicles, which can sometimes be more difficult to spot. As well, CAANEO Members are reminded about Bike Assist, a new program that provides roadside assistance for bicycles.
Bike Assist allows CAANEO Members to use their allotted annual service calls for roadside assistance should they encounter a problem with their bicycle and become stranded. Under this new service, CAANEO will transport the Member and the bicycle home or to another safe location of the Member's choosing. More information about Bike Assist is available at caaneo.ca/bikeassist.
CAA North & East Ontario is a non-profit membership organization, providing travel, emergency road services, insurance and advocacy for its Members. Visit www.caaneo.ca.