Safe driving strategies

A champion driver gets behind the wheel of the family van and points out a few blind spots.

More safe driving tips

6. Minimize distractions within the car, especially if you have kids riding with you. That means no radio, CD's, cellular phones or coffee cups. "If I need to concentrate, especially in bad weather, I turn off the music," says Hoskinson. She applies this rule with some discretion. She recommends personal CD players for the kids to listen to their tunes so the driver can concentrate more completely on the road and other drivers instead of trying to decipher the lyrics of the latest Outkast song.

7. Where are you looking when driving? "Most of us look at the road or the bumper of the car in front of us when driving but if something is going to happen, it will probably take place in front of the car in front of you," says Hoskinson. "Be aware of the traffic around you and look as far into the distance as you can see down the road. This strategy should give you more time to react."

8. Adjust your mirrors, especially the passenger mirror, in order to see other drivers rather than your own car. "Use your peripheral vision," says Joan. "Use your mirrors but do a visual double-check by looking over your shoulder, too."

9. Lessons are good for all drivers. Hoskinson suggests a defensive winter driving course so drivers get the opportunity to practice handling your vehicle in ice and snow conditions.

10. Try to keep your cool in stressful situations. Although Hoskinson has seen a lot of bad drivers, she avoids getting upset by quietly muttering
driving tips to them.

Visit Transport Canada for more information.

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