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Drive safe this summer on Canadian highways

Canadians are at risk for more fatal collisions during the summer months than at any other season. Factors influencing the higher mortality rates include aggressive driving, alcohol impairment and fatigue.

Below are some suggestions from the Canada Safety Council on ways to make safety the priority when travelling this summer.

-- Get your vehicle checked before leaving. Air up the tires and replace any that are visibly worn. Top up the fluid levels and check for wear and tear on belts and other parts that could leave you stranded on a dangerous stretch of highway.

-- Buckle up. Insist that the driver and all passengers are securely buckled before the key is turned in the vehicle. Wearing safety restraints is the most effective action you can take to avoid injuries.

-- Plan periodic stops. It's unreasonable to expect young children to drive for hours without becoming cranky. Plan for distractions.

-- Drive defensively. Don't speed, which leads to higher risk of crashes and the potential for more severe injuries. Use the three second rule about following the car ahead so you can plan manoeuvres to avoid danger. Allow for extra time in inclement weather conditions.

According to the Canada Safety Council, approximately 85 per cent of road accidents are preventable. But drivers have to prepare for other drivers' poor judgment and lack of driving skills to keep safe.

Despite all of your precautions, you may still have an accident with another at-fault driver. If you or your family members are injured, you may have to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver and their insurance carrier.

Source: Canada Safety Council, "Driving Tips for Summer Trips," accessed June 19, 2015

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