Perhaps you started driving 30 or 40 years ago. How do you think you’d find the experience of learning to drive today? And how about young people who just got their licence? How are they adjusting to being behind the wheel? And what’s their impression of veteran drivers?
We may all travel the same highways and byways, but we experience driving differently. So when we get in our cars and have to share the road, we don’t all have the same reflexes, habits or skills.
We reached out to fellow Canadians across the country to find out what advice they would offer to less seasoned drivers and vice versa. If you have any additional tips for Canadian drivers, go ahead and share them in the comments section!
Veteran drivers to novices: beware of distracted driving and speeding
“Do not speed! My kid does not listen to this. Watch the speed limits; they can range from 60 to 50 km/hr in some residential areas. Make sure to signal when turning. And please do not use your cell phone while driving.” -Sherry, Edmonton, AB
“Make sure to follow the speed limit and don’t text and drive.” – Ronnine, Edmonton, AB
“A word to the wise for young drivers: Put your phone away. No message is worth more than your life to the people that love you. The roads are way too busy to be distracted when you’re driving!” – Laurie, Brooklin, ON
“Watch your speed and don’t tailgate. Pay attention at intersections as that’s where accidents often happen.” -Keith, Ajax, ON
“Slow down and enjoy the scenery, go fast and join the scenery.”- John, Vancouver, BC
“Ignore what other drivers are doing and follow the rules of the road.”- Jeremy, Langley, BC
“From the moment you get into the car, forget about texting and social media. Sometimes it seems to me that when young drivers are on the road their heads are elsewhere.” – Michel, Montreal, QC
“A message to young drivers: It’s obvious that you’re checking your phone at the red light because you don’t move when the light changes!” – Martine, Quebec City, QC
“Always keep your distance from the car ahead of you and that applies at all times, not just in bad weather! – Jérémie, Terrebonne, QC
-A few tips on how to steer clear of texting at the wheel:
– Speed: pay attention to signage. Most GPS applications are equipped with a speeding alert. Use it and drive more slowly!
Young drivers to veteran drivers: go with the flow of traffic and update your skills
“I wish older drivers would not drive if they don’t feel confident about it. You see so many on the road who appear to be anxious and uncomfortable. Try to find a family member or friend to get you from point A to point B if you can. It’s less stressful for everyone that way!”- Melinda, Toronto, ON
“If I could give advice to an older driver it would be to drive like they did when they were 30! By that time they have had enough experience on the road to be confident on their journey, but not so much so that driving becomes stressful and nerve-wracking.” – Alex, Port Hope, ON
“Remember to leave four seconds between your car and the vehicle in front of you in the winter. Leave early so you aren’t rushing on the road and if you’re running late don’t rush because it’s better to arrive safe than not at all. Also please remember not to drink and drive.” – Dustin, Edmonton, AB
“Drive at the speed limit, not under it. Take a driving exam or go back to driving school for a refresher if you are over 60. Slamming on the brakes is not a good idea.” – Brooke and Geanne, Edmonton, AB
“I know there are some pretty reckless young drivers, but don’t put all of us in the same category.” -Alice, Surrey, BC
“Stop driving like an old person. If you are young at heart you should be able to keep up with traffic.” -Byron, Vancouver, BC
“Use the left-hand lane when you want to overtake another car and once you’ve passed the other vehicle, return to the centre or right-hand lane. ” – Maryéva, Montreal, QC
“To all the sweet older folks behind the wheel: don’t drive below the speed limit. Slowly but surely? Not on the highway!” – Jessica and Mariya, Montreal and Toronto.
“Use the ‘Dutch reach’ to open your door.” – Laurent, Montreal, QC
-Make sure your driving skills are up to speed and familiarize yourself with any new rules of the road. Everyone forgets a few things now and then, so it’s important to refresh your memory!
-Drive with confidence even in winter with a few tips from a pro.
– Remember that medication and driving can be a dangerous mix.
– Be careful of cyclists and beware of dooring! The ‘Dutch reach’ is a technique associated with the Netherlands. When you’re in the driver’s seat, it consists of opening the door with your right hand rather than your left hand. This forces you to turn your body in such a way that allows you to spot any cyclists in your blind spot.