True or false?
- The minimum safe distance that must be maintained between 2 vehicles is of 3 seconds or more.
- When driving, fatigue is as dangerous as alcohol consumption.
- Morning rush hour is when distractions cause the most accidents.
- Using your cellphone in hands-free mode when driving is completely safe.
- A child car seat reduces the risk of death and serious injury in an accident by up to 70%.
- You should consider replacing your tires when they've reached a tread depth of 19.8 mm (25/32 in) or less.
- Driving aggressively can cost you more in gas.
- There is a 3% higher risk of collision for every 1 km/h increase in speed.
- When you see a pothole, you should break.
- At night, you should focus on what's illuminated by your headlights.
1. The minimum safe distance that must be maintained between 2 vehicles is of 3 seconds or more.
True. Whenever you follow another vehicle, you need enough space to react, break and stop safely. A safe following distance is at least three seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. In bad weather, you should also increase this distance.1
2. When driving, fatigue is as dangerous as alcohol.
True. After being awake for 17 hours, your physical and mental performance decreases significantly. The effects of this are the same as if your blood alcohol level was 0.05 mg/100 ml —the limit at which a driver faces a licence suspension in most Canadian provinces.2
3. Morning rush hour is when distractions cause the most accidents.
False. Distracted driving causes the most accidents involving injury between noon and 5:59 p.m. Additionally, more than 50% of distracted driving accidents involving injury occur in the summer, between May and September.3
4. Using your cellphone in hands-free mode when driving is completely safe.
False. Although legally permitted, hands-free mode is actually as unsafe as talking on the phone and using voice commands are considered distractions.4
5. A child car seat reduces the risk of death and serious injury in an accident by up to 70%.
True. But as long as it’s used correctly. To find out whether your child is properly buckled in and their seat is the right fit, check out the Secure Them for Life brochure, which outlines all the steps for every age.5
6. You should consider replacing your tires when they've reached a tread depth of 19.8 mm (25/32 in) or less.
False. At this depth, your tires are still good! They should be replaced when the tread depth reaches 1.6 mm (2/32"). A mechanic can assess your tires' tread depth for you.6
7. Driving aggressively can cost you more in gas.
True. Aggressive driving—rapid acceleration, frequent braking, high speed—can increase your fuel consumption and affect your safety. Conversely, fuel-efficient driving can save you up to 25% on gas and improve road safety by preventing collisions. Accelerating smoothly and maintaining a constant speed are examples of fuel-efficient driving techniques.7
8. There is a 3% higher risk of collision for every 1 km/h increase in speed.
True. An increase in average speed of 1 km/h typically results in a 3% higher risk of a crash involving injury, and a 4–5% increase for crashes that result in fatalities.8
9. When you see a pothole, you should break.
False. If you cannot avoid it, slow down at the sight of a pothole and release the brakes to prevent damage to your car. The harder the mechanical impact, the more it will affect your car.9
10. At night, you should focus on what's illuminated by your headlights.
False. Headlights can't compensate for the loss of natural light, which affects our night vision and our perception of movement and potential obstacles. When driving at night, you have to look beyond the beam of your headlights.10
Test your road safety knowledge
Canadian roads were less busy during the early stages of the pandemic, which resulted in increased speeding and dangerous driving. With the return to school, to work and to a more normal life, it's time to curb this trend and shift back into our good habits. Take a few minutes to refresh your road safety knowledge.
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.
Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance in Alberta and Ontario.
7. Fuel-efficient driving , Link opens in a new window., Government of Canada
10. Driving at , Link opens in a new window., SAAQ