Hol­i­day sea­son road safety

The McLeod River Post - - Family, Farm & Garden - Public Health Pro­mo­tion Al­berta Health Ser­vices

Are you mak­ing a list and check­ing it twice? This hol­i­day sea­son be sure to in­clude safety on your list of things to think about. Take some time to re­view those safety prac­tices that safe­guard your health. A bit of plan­ning and com­mon sense can go a long way to en­sure a safe hol­i­day sea­son and a healthy and happy start to the new year.

Part of the joy of the sea­son is get­ting to­gether with friends and fam­ily, which can of­ten mean travel. If you can, try to avoid driv­ing when road con­di­tions are bad. If you must head out on the road, proper prepa­ra­tion and at­ten­tion to de­tail can mean the dif­fer­ence be­tween a prob­lem and a dis­as­ter. Safe be­hav­iors and prac­tices can pre­vent most in­ci­dents or in­juries.

Take time to iden­tify and tackle po­ten­tial safety prob­lems with your ve­hi­cle, in­clud­ing pre­par­ing your ve­hi­cle for win­ter with a set of win­ter tires. Keep­ing your car well main­tained and pack­ing booster ca­bles, a first aid kit, shovel, wind­shield scraper and brush and a road­side sur­vival kit show you’re pre­pared for win­ter. Stor­ing a sand bag in your trunk can also help with trac­tion in the snow.

Al­ways use seat­belts and car seats. Take short stretch breaks and trade re­spon­si­bil­i­ties if there are two driv­ers. Plan your travel so that speed­ing is not part of your itin­er­ary. Don’t drink and drive! Al­co­hol in­creases fa­tigue, im­pairs your judg­ment and vi­sion, slows your re­ac­tion time and in­creases your risk of hy­pother­mia. “

If you do get stranded, stay in your car un­less you’re in town and close to help. Never go for help if there is no one in sight, if there’s poor vis­i­bil­ity or you don’t know where you’re go­ing.

Al­ways use seat­belts and car seats. Take short stretch breaks and trade re­spon­si­bil­i­ties if there are two driv­ers. Plan your travel so that speed­ing is not part of your itin­er­ary. Don’t drink and drive! Al­co­hol in­creases fa­tigue, im­pairs your judg­ment and vi­sion, slows your re­ac­tion time and in­creases your risk of hy­pother­mia.

As trav­el­ing and vis­it­ing from home to home in­creases, so does time spent on the road. Spend a few min­utes to take safety pre­cau­tions this hol­i­day sea­son and be pre­pared with emer­gency num­bers close at hand.

For more in­for­ma­tion on this and other health re­lated top­ics, visit MyHealth.Al­berta.ca or ahs.ca. Health ad­vice and in­for­ma­tion is also avail­able 24/7 by call­ing Health Link at 811.

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