Staying Safe in the Summer: Safety Tips for Drivers, Pedestrians, and Cyclists
Summertime is the best time of the year. But it's not all ice cream cones and slushies. Make your summer the best it can be by practising safety first.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
There's nothing like a walk outside to enjoy the warm weather, but remember to:
- Watch where you're walking when using a mobile phone. Texting and walking can be hazardous if you’re not aware of your surroundings.
- Turn down the music; you should always be able to hear what's going on around you.
- Cross at intersections or crosswalks, and, like your parents told you, always look both ways before crossing a street.
- Be mindful of traffic turning at intersections or entering and leaving driveways or parking lots.
- Never assume a vehicle will stop for you, even if you have the right-of-way.
- Talk to your kids about how to be safe while walking; walk on sidewalks or paths, and cross at street corners using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Children should be reminded to walk-never run-when crossing streets and only play in areas away from roads, traffic, and vehicles.
- Children under 10 should cross the street with an adult. While every child is different, it can be hard for them to judge the speed and distance of cars until age 10.
- Remind kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street and to watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
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Bike Safety: Tips for Cyclists
In the beautiful weather, cyclists are as commonplace on the roads as cars and both need to share the road. Cyclists of all ages need to:
- Obey the rules of the road.
- Make it easy for motorists to see you by wearing clothing with reflective strips or bright-coloured clothing. Cyclists need to have reflective lights on the front, back, and side of their bikes.
- Wear a helmet that fits properly.
- Use proper hand signals to tell others on the road of your intentions.
- Stay focused and never wear headphones or talk on the phone while riding a bike.
- There are also child bike safety courses available to give your young ones the skills they need to ride safely.
- Consider getting first aid training in case you need to provide emergency treatment for common cycling injuries such as cuts and fractures.
Safety Tips for Drivers
Regardless of the time of year, obeying the rules of the road, driving the speed limit, and avoiding being a distracted driver is essential for the safe operation of a vehicle. But in summer, there are more people to watch out for:
- Take a second look for cyclists and pedestrians at intersections and driveways.
- Play it safe. Even when a pedestrian or cyclist doesn't have the right of way, yield to them.
- Drive slowly in residential areas.
Water Safety Tips: Swimming
According to the federal government, drowning is one of the leading causes of death for young children between the ages of one and four. Moreover, the Lifesaving Society of Canada says an average of 289 Canadians dies each year in water-related incidents. The weather may be hot and the water inviting, but water safety is vital at all times. Take these precautions whenever you or your family go for a dip:
- Children should be supervised by a person who knows how to swim, who will stay within sight and reach of the child when in, on, or around water.
- Children who are swimming should never be left alone – even for a second. If you have to go into the house, or away from the water, then bring them with you.
- Children who don't know how to swim should wear a lifejacket.
- Learn to swim (it's great exercise); until you do, restrict your activities to wading only in shallow water when a lifeguard is on duty, and you're wearing a floatation device.
- Take a first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training course.
- Swim only during the day, and never at night or during storms.
- Do not swim when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Never swim alone.
Road Trips! What's a Summer Without Them?
A road trip is always a great idea, but before you pack the car and the kids remember to:
- Make sure your vehicle is revved up and roadworthy. Have a mechanic look over your car and top-up all fluids before leaving.
- Plan to drive 300 to 400 kilometres a day. By limiting how much you drive, you'll be able to stop at roadside attractions, enjoy meals and take breaks. Aim to stop driving by dinner, so you can eat and relax for the rest of the evening.
- Pack travel insurance
- Get a good night's sleep and share the driving responsibility.
- Make sure everyone is buckled up, all the time.