MISSISSAUGA, ON, December 5, 2006 ? This month travelers will face more than just inclement weather when it comes to driving. Increased traffic from last-minute shopping trips and social visits to family and friends will also impact road travel safety over the next few weeks.
Holiday traffic and unpredictable weather conditions make it more important than ever for Canadians to tune-up on winter driving skills. UPS?s 102,000 drivers around the globe are preparing to deliver more than 21 million packages worldwide on December 20 and understand that safe driving requires skill and good judgment. They are among the safest transportation professionals on the road with 4,202 active drivers having completed more than 25 years of accident-free driving.
?UPS drivers average less than one accident per million kilometres driven,? said Keith Porter, vice president of Operations, UPS Canada. ?Whether you?re driving to see family over the holidays or delivering packages, it?s important for all motorists to focus on applying safe driving practices.?
UPS has partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) in support of the annual Project Red Ribbon campaign. UPS and MADD Canada want to ensure road safety this holiday season and remind Canadians to never drive impaired by alcohol or drugs.
As part of UPS?s commitment to road safety, UPS drivers offer these safe driving tips for the holiday season:
? Arrive safely ? Always appoint a designated driver when attending seasonal gatherings. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, on average four Canadians are killed and approximately 190 Canadians are injured daily as a result of alcohol/drug related crashes.
? Be aware of distracted drivers ? Actions such as cell phone usage, eating/drinking, personal grooming or reading maps can take a driver?s attention off the road. Be aware of these distracted drivers, always expect the unexpected and leave yourself a way out.
? Slow and steady keeps you safe ? Sudden moves can cause a loss of control when road traction is poor. Even if the roads are clear, black ice is a major hazard when the temperature dips. Depending on the weather conditions, adjust your speed and following distance accordingly.
? Tune in to traffic ? Monitor traffic reports for road closures and delays, and prepare an alternate route just in case. Winter storms can sometimes hit without warning, so be sure to check reports on the way home too.
? Develop a driving emergency kit ? Carry a blanket, flashlight, candles, matches, jumper cables and a shovel in your trunk. Kitty litter or sand is also useful to gain traction if you happen to get stuck.
? Commercial vehicles can be a lot heavier than an average car, and need much more time and distance to stop. Avoid cutting in front of trucks or braking suddenly in front of them ? and remember, if you can?t see the driver?s face in their side mirror, they can?t see you.
? Keep headlights and tail lights clean ? Dark winter days make it more difficult to see other motorists and pedestrians. Turn headlights on at least a half hour before sunset to increase your visibility and keep windshields and mirrors clean to avoid glare. Don?t look directly at oncoming headlights, instead avert your eyes to the right side of the road.
? Buckle-up ? Wear your safety belt properly every time you get behind the wheel, even for short distances ? and make sure your passengers do too!