Driver Safety

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Slow Down Move Over

CAA Slow Down Move Over is a national day of safety in observance and recognition of first responders working on our highways, including tow truck operators, police officers, paramedics, fire department crews, construction workers, and highway patrol staff. CAA Clubs across Canada have designated the second Tuesday in May annually, as Slow Down Move Over to bring attention to this important safety issue.

“Saskatchewan highways are not just highways,” said Randy Schulz, White City Fire Department Chief. “The highways are our work zones that we’ve set up and marked to let motorists know that we’re on the job helping people who are expecting us to help them. Motorists must slow down to help keep us safe and protect us while we’re working. Our fire department team has seen too many dangerous situations and close calls.”

Brad Stratychuk, President of Roadside Responders Association, added, “We’re constantly reminded of the dangers, knowing that in 2017, a tow operator was killed on duty during a blizzard while providing roadside assistance in the Esterhazy area.

It's the law to slow to 60 km/h for all first responders working on Saskatchewan highways. Know the risks. Slow down move over.

May 2021 Slow Down Move Over Day Campaign

The 2021 CAA Slow Down Move Over social media campaign consisted of produced personal messages featuring the faces and voices of participating safety partners. Thank you to RCMP “F” Division Traffic Services, Roadside Responders Association (RRA), Paramedic Services Chiefs of Saskatchewan, White City Fire Department, and CAA Saskatchewan Roadside Assistance. Read the news release for more information.

Background

  • Across Canada, there are more than 7,500 tow truck operators employed by or contracted to provincial CAA clubs. Each one receives ongoing training, plus equipment like reflective pylons and high-visibility clothing.
  • In January 2021, a tow truck operator was involved in a serious collision while working on a highway near North Battleford, Saskatchewan. An Oshawa tow truck driver was killed in 2019 while assisting a motorist on a highway near Durham, Ontario. Tragically, a tow truck operator near Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, was struck and killed in 2017 while working during a blizzard.
  • CAA Saskatchewan worked with key safety stakeholders to lobby the Government of Saskatchewan for new legislation allowing tow trucks to display blue lights in addition to amber lights when assisting motorists. In April 2017, Saskatchewan became the first province to permit this additional safety precaution.
  • While the exact number of collisions involving tow trucks is unknown, data from CAA National indicates that each year in North America, dozens of tow operators are killed while doing their jobs. Each one of these deaths is entirely preventable: Slow down move over.

Safe Driving Tips

Ah! Summer in Saskatchewan. There’s so much to see and do, no matter if you’re packing up for a family road trip or planning summer activities in your backyard. We’ve got some valuable tips to help you and your family stay safe this summer.

Driver Safety Checklist

✓ BE PREPARED: Before getting behind the wheel, set the GPS or review all maps and directions and prepare children with everything they need. Plan and share your route in advance with friends or family. Children’s car and booster seats should be correctly installed, and everyone should wear a seatbelt.

✓ #UNPLUGANDDRIVE: Eliminate distractions such as the use of mobile phones, eating, drinking, adjusting entertainment or navigation systems, grooming, long conversations, and smoking. Keep your eyes and mind focused on the task of safe driving.

✓ SLOW DOWN MOVE OVER: Remember, slow down move over for first responders, including tow truck operators and construction crews working on Saskatchewan highways. Not obeying the Slow to 60 km/h law on Saskatchewan highways when passing first responders is not safe, and you can be fined. Know the risks.

✓ STAY CONNECTED: Pack a mobile phone with charger. Ensure that your driver’s licence, vehicle insurance, travel insurance, and CAA membership are up to date.

✓ SHARE THE ROAD SAFELY: Highways will be busy with increased traffic of cars, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles, recreation vehicles and farm machinery. Learn how to safety drive alongside big trucks and other commercial vehicles in CAA Saskatchewan Magazine.

Vehicle Safety Checklist

✓ BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT: Have your vehicle inspected to make sure it’s road ready. Have an unexpected breakdown? The CAA Mobile App is available to access roadside service plus other CAA Member benefits.

✓ TOP UP FLUIDS: Check your vehicle’s tires, brake fluid, coolant and oil plus window washer wipers and washer fluid. Examine belts for proper belt tension.

✓ CHECK YOUR BATTERY: Vehicle batteries should also be checked and this can be completed at the CAA Car Care Centre at Regina Battery Depot, or any CAA Approved Auto Repair Service.

✓ RV’ING? Check the wheels on your RV, boat trailer and/or camper trailer. Set the wheel lug nuts to the proper torque. Wheel bearings should be greased and adjusted annually. Trailer suspension springs also need to be inspected for wear. It’s a good idea to read the vehicle or RV owner’s manual.

✓ PACK A ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE KIT: Include a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, tire pressure gauge, pliers, adjustable wrench, blanket, or purchase a roadside assistance kit at your local CAA Store. Add non-perishable food and water, windshield washer fluid, jumper cables, and emergency flares or reflectors.

Backyard Bliss and Community Safety Tips

Planning a staycation for the summer? We’ve got some tips for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. Learn More.

Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

It only takes a second to be distracted.

#UnplugAndDrive is the theme behind CAA’s youth-based video campaign. And the message is clear: if you’re driving, put your phone away. Gen Z is a socially conscious generation and almost all of them know that distracted driving is wrong, yet 1 in 6 young Canadians still have admitted to driving distracted.

People don’t think they’re distracted drivers because they aren’t “texting”. But today, distracted driving is so much more than sending a text. Music apps, maps, messaging apps and social media are all frequently used while driving and pose the same threat as calling or texting. Watch the series of #UNPLUGANDDRIVE videos: Montage, Pelican, Bears, and Octopus.

Here are a few surprising, distracted driving statistics:

  • Over a quarter of young Canadians aged 18-24 years old said they saw an increase in people using their phone while driving in 2020. (CAA polling, 2020)
  • 47% of Canadians admitted that they have typed out or used the voice-memo feature to send a message while driving. (CAA, 2020)
  • If a driver texts, they’re 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near collision. (Traffic Injury Research Foundation, 2019)
  • Canadians say that texting while driving is one of the biggest threats to their personal safety on the road. (CAA, 2018)

Common Driving Distractions and How They Affect You – Learn more

Senior Drivers

The fact is that our population is aging.

While more experience is a good thing, so is awareness that some age-related changes are inevitable. Over the years, our pupils get smaller and can affect our ability to drive safety. Hearing loss can affect our ability to react to our surroundings and diminishing motor skills can affect our reaction time. Those changes don’t have to mean the end of a driving life. Here are some driving resources to help you out.

Senior’s Toolkit: CAA, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) have designed a toolkit for seniors and their loved ones. Use the senior’s toolkit to assess fitness to drive under different conditions, stay safe behind the wheel, maintain driving confidence as you age, and take concrete steps to modify driving habits if needed. Learn more

CarFit Program: CarFit is an educational program for mature drivers where a trained technician and occupational therapist help to identify how the fit of your vehicle can affect your driving. We assist drivers in understanding and applying the built-in safety features of their vehicle and offer education on your vehicle’s enhanced restraints and protection if you are unaware of them. CarFit is free to CAA Members and non-members. Learn more

55 Alive Mature Drivers Program: The 55 Alive Mature Drivers Program is offered by Saskatchewan Safety Council. Contact the Saskatchewan Safety Council for more information.

Young Drivers

For a lot of people, there’s nothing quite like the freedom that comes with a driver’s licence.

It can mean independence and open new possibilities for travel, employment, and education. If you are ready to take the wheel, there are a lot of good things to know to help keep you and others safe. We’ve compiled some resources and advice for new drivers.

Learn More

Phantom Vehicles

Once upon a time, a dim instrument panel reminded motorists that their headlights weren’t engaged. But in most new vehicles, the panel is backlit anytime the engine is running. This leads some motorists to assume their daytime running lights (DRL) are also on. Problem is, in many vehicles, DRL doesn’t include rear illumination.

Before sunrise, after sunset and in bad weather, you get what are known as phantom vehicles. These are cars that are virtually invisible from behind because their rear lights aren’t on. It’s a pet peeve for many drivers. And it’s a safety issue due to the visibility risks. The motorists following you can’t see your taillights, and it decreases their reaction time to brake or avoid a rear-end collision.

So how can you ensure your car is lit? Many vehicles have an “Auto” option whereby sensors gauge ambient light to switch between DRL and a fully engaged headlight system; just make sure that setting is on. Look for an “A,” “Auto” or the DRL symbol on your light dial. For cars lacking an automatic option, keeping your headlights on when driving is the safest bet.

The Government of Canada announced safety legislation that will require all new cars sold in Canada as of 2021 to be more visible in low-light conditions.

This new safety standard will require auto manufacturers do one of the following:

  • Have daytime running lights and taillights come on when the vehicle instrument panel is illuminated, and the vehicle is in operation.
  • Automatically turn on the headlights, taillights, and side marker lights in low-light conditions; or
  • Keep the driver’s instrument panel dark so the driver knows to turn on all the lights.

To increase awareness about phantom vehicles, CAA partnered with Transport Canada on the See and Be Seen campaign. To learn more about phantom vehicles and how to help raise awareness please visit www.tc.gc.ca/SEEandbeSEEN.