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12.20.2016 | Driving Tips

Tips to Avoid High Risk Driving this Holiday Season

The holiday season is a busy time of the year for Ontario drivers. Many of us will spend more time in our vehicles getting the last of our holiday shopping completed and travelling to visit family and friends.

With the increased road activity, the Ontario Provincial Police often increase their presence on the roads to help keep drivers and passengers safe.

If you’re planning on getting behind the wheel this holiday, stay safe and avoid costly insurance mistakes by following these holiday safety tips:

Don’t Drink and Drive

Each year, the Ontario Provincial Police launch their holiday R.I.D.E program with the goal of encouraging safe driving and keeping Impaired Drivers off the road. If you’re caught Impaired Driving in Ontario, your insurance rates can be affected for years to come. If you’re planning to attend a holiday celebration, avoid alcohol or plan a safe ride home by taking transit or using a designated driver.

If you’re planning to host a holiday party and serve alcohol, arrange safe rides home for your guests or allow guests to stay the night. Remember, if a guest leaves your celebration impaired and causes damage or injury to someone else, you may be held responsible. If you’re unsure about your liability as the event host, call your insurance broker for more information.

Avoid Driving Tired

With all of the holiday shopping and social events, this time of year can be exhausting. Did you know that driving tired is a major cause of accidents during the holiday season? At-fault accidents are another High Risk Driving factor that can cause your insurance rates to rise.

If you’re feeling tired, take time to rest before heading out on the road. According to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, your drowsiness can put you at risk if you begin to experience any of the following:

  • Frequent yawning
  • A wandering mind or lack of concentration
  • Failing to remember details about the last few kilometres
  • Difficulty keeping your eyes open
  • Head bobbing
  • Inability to focus eyesight
  • Vehicle drifting

Avoid Distracted Driving

While it can be tempting to return your friend’s holiday texts or call your friends and family while behind the wheel, distracted driving is another bad habit that can prevent you from getting the best insurance rates. Not only can you be charged for Distracted Driving in Ontario, you may cause an accident and worsen the effect on your Ontario insurance premium. Even worse, you could be faced with a Careless Driving charge if you endanger other people while Distracted Driving. So, keep others, yourself and your insurance rates safe by keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road this holiday season.

Don’t Speed

Speeding is another common infraction around the holidays. Being sure to leave plenty of time to complete your holiday shopping and plan your road trips well in advance so that you won’t be tempted to speed while on the roads this holiday season. Speeding tickets can put you on a fast track to high insurance rates so avoid the headache and obey the rules of the road.


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