Make sure you’re up to date on all the regular maintenance for your vehicle
Before you take off, it’s important to check the condition of your vehicle and make sure your maintenance is up to date. For a complete inspection, make an appointment with your mechanic!
Bring all your important documents with you
To avoid any unpleasant surprises, make sure you have your auto insurance certificate, your driver’s licence and your vehicle registration. It’s recommended that you don’t keep these documents in your glove box, to make sure they’re not accessible in case of theft.
If you have roadside assistance, don’t forget your card or number so you can contact the service if you need them. If you don’t you might want to consider it, roadside assistance can be very useful in case of trouble on the road, and save you money.
Store your bags safely
Take the time to make sure your bags are safely stored and secured in your vehicle. Make sure they’re not obstructing your view and that they couldn’t become projectiles in case of a collision. If you’re short on space inside the car, think about getting a rooftop cargo box.
Prevent your vehicle and your belongings inside it from being stolen
Here are some simple steps you can take to prevent theft:
- Don’t leave your windows open
- Lock your doors
- Park in a well-lit area
- Always keep your luggage in the trunk and don’t leave your valuables in view.
For more tips on reducing the risk of theft, read our article.
Watch out for fatigue!
Did you know that fatigue at the wheel causes about 20% of fatal collisions in Canada?
If you’re driving long distances for your vacation, make sure you take breaks – it’s worth it for your safety, as well as the safety of the people in your car and other people on the road.
Read our article on How to avoid falling asleep at the wheel in our Advice Zone for more tips.
Be particularly careful if you’re towing a trailer
Driving with a trailer means you have to be extra vigilant to reduce the risk of accidents. For example, avoid making sudden movements, because it’s easy to quickly lose control. Also, because the stopping distance is longer when pulling a trailer, it’s important to slow down sooner than usual. Finally, try not to overload the trailer so that you don’t damage the axles and cause it to stall. Follow your vehicle manufacturer's recommendations for towing capacity.
Don’t leave your home unguarded
To avoid unpleasant surprises when you arrive back home, here are a few steps you can take:
- Ask a neighbour or someone you trust to pick up your mail
- Use a timer so that your lights aren’t on all the time
- Give a copy of your key to a friend or family member and ask them to stop by regularly to make sure everything is ok
- If you’re going to be away for a long time, remember to shut off your water supply and drain the pipes.
For more tips for planning a safe trip, you can also read our article, 7 vacation safety tips.