Take care out there over the long weekend
May 20, 2010
With the first long weekend of the summer just around the corner, SGI is reminding motorists to take care out there.
Drivers should be patient in getting to their weekend destinations. The highways will be crowded with recreational vehicles and people hauling trailers or boats to the many lakes and campsites around the province.
Seeding is also underway and motorists need to watch for slow-moving farm implements on the road.
"Traffic increases on Saskatchewan highways during long weekends so motorists need to be even more alert," Minister responsible for SGI June Draude said. "We want everyone to take care out there and have a safe and enjoyable Victoria Day long weekend, and that starts with safe driving."
Motorists can reduce the chance of being involved in a collision by following these tips:
- Avoid distractions in the vehicle while driving. Remember the use of hand-held cellphones is illegal while driving unless operated with a hands free device.
- Check your vehicle's tire pressure. Tires are your only contact with the road and without properly inflated tires your vehicle won't accelerate, brake or steer properly. Also make sure your vehicle is mechanically sound and fluid levels are topped up.
- Travel at a speed appropriate for the current road conditions.
- All passengers must wear seatbelts and all children must be properly fastened in belts or child safety restraints.
- Allow enough travel time on longer trips and take frequent breaks to avoiding driving while fatigued.
Most importantly, don't drink and drive. Research shows that drivers are more likely to be involved in an alcohol-related collision while travelling on a long weekend than during any other time of the year.
"If you are celebrating with friends and have a few drinks during the long weekend, always plan a safe ride home," Draude said. "Don't get behind the wheel. Use a designated driver, call a designated driving service, a taxi or a friend to get home safely."
Last year there were nearly 408 collisions during the Victoria Day long weekend, resulting in 64 injuries and two fatalities.
Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is the province's self-sustaining auto insurance fund. SGI operates 21 claims centres and five salvage centres across Saskatchewan with a head office in Regina. SGI works with a network of more than 400 motor licence issuers across the province.