It is said that ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’. This is the case whenever driving in a different country or region outside of your own. When in Vancouver, you must have a valid driving license, auto insurance and a letter from the owner of the car if it is not your own. BC (British Columbia) is known to have long roads which means it is not unheard of people taking long road trips to get to their desired destination.

In addition, when driving in Vancouver, you will drive on the right side of the road like many countries in the world. The speed limit in the city is about 50km per hour while it is 80km per hour on the highway. In addition, you will find about 6 time zones and different weather patterns across the country. Some provinces actually require you to have snow tires when traveling due to the winter weather you may experience. However, no matter how different the road rules may be in BC, there are tips on how to be a safe driver that can be practiced anywhere in the world to ensure that you arrive alive and safely to your destination.

GET A SERVICED CAR

Before taking any road trip, you must ensure that the car has been adequately serviced, is insured and the gas tank is fully topped up. Have your car brakes, seat belts, tires, engine and all aspects of your vehicle checked and passed for driving. Some of the things that you may overlook if you do not take the car for service is what can cause an accident such as faulty brakes, broken tail lights and worn-out tires.

BE WELL RESTED

When driving in Vancouver or taking a road trip, you must ensure that you have enough rest before the drive. In addition, eat a hearty meal and hydrate and also carry snacks and drinks for the road. When it comes to beverages, water or fresh fruit juices are more advisable. Do not drink alcohol while driving and also avoid caffeine high drinks such as energy drinks, sodas or coffee. These, while they may initially give you that much-needed energy boost, can ultimately cause your mind to wander and you may lose concentration. You will be a safe driver if you are a strong, well-fed and well-hydrated driver.

GET A PARTNER

When taking long road trips, it may also be beneficial if you have a driving partner. Even though taking breaks in between driving may help to keep the driver alert and relaxed, having someone else who can drive and give you, the original driver, some time to rest is more beneficial.
When driving, you must remain alert at all times.

STAY ALERT

This means that you must be able to assess the car in front, beside and behind you at all times. In addition, pay close attention to the road in case you need to change lanes, take a certain turn and also view the permitted speed limit. Your alertness can be aided by being on the lookout for blind spots when changing lanes, use of your side mirrors to have a full view of your lane and the traffic behind you and also be attentive enough to be able to slow down or brake in the event of an emergency. Further, avoid texting or using your phone while driving as this is also a sure way of distracting yourself while driving.

CHECK THE WEATHER

Be on the lookout for the weather forecast. When taking a road trip, you must be sure of whether it will rain, snow or be a dry and sunny day. When it snows or rains, the roads become slippery. In such conditions, you must be prepared to take a longer time to get to your destination because your speeds must be slower than usual. In the event that you are driving in areas that have snowed, you may need to have snow tires to enable you to maneuver your way on the road.

BE ACTIVE

Avoid driving while tired, under the influence of drugs and alcohol or when distracted. When you are exhausted, as earlier mentioned, you may take a stop to relax and rejuvenate or you can have a driving partner who will give you some time to rest or even take a nap. It is obvious that driving while drunk or ‘high’ can not only put you and the lives of others at risk, but you also stand the risk of being arrested. Get a designated driver if under the influence or if you have taken drugs (it is important to note that this does not refer to recreational drugs, but medication and prescription drugs). Receiving bad news or when having a heated discussion with someone while driving can also put you at risk as you may be distracted while driving. For this, pull out of the road and handle your situation. Do not pull over to the shoulder of the road or the breakdown zone as this is also a risk for other drivers.

STAY SAFE

Make use of seatbelts, airbags and toddler car seats. In many countries, children are required to be securely strapped to a car seat in order to protect them while you drive. In addition, the adults must use seatbelts in order to protect themselves in the event of an accident or emergency braking. This coupled with airbags will keep the driver and his passengers alive and safe, thus promoting safe driving in Vancouver.