Sergeant Bob’s Safety Tips for 50-Plus Travellers
Retired Ontario Provincial Police Sergeant Bob Paterson works closely with The McLennan Group to develop and share practical safety tips for Canadians 50-plus on SeniorSafetyTips.ca.
Sergeant Bob specializes in modern crime and injury prevention tips for on the road, while at home or while travelling. He has been recognized individually and as team member for his many innovative programs such as Seniors Take Charge and Road Watch, which continue to help seniors, children, drivers, and travellers.
Sergeant Bob’s Safety Tips
Snowbirds Who Choose to Drive South
Southbound drivers know the routine well, but a safety review can help to smooth the way:
- A reliable vehicle and proper maintenance will help minimize break downs, and the need for emergency plans.
- An in-vehicle GPS with CORRECT route programing is economical and invaluable.
- When preparing to travel, look for books like Along Interstate-75: The “Must Have” Guide for Your Drive to and from Florida, as they are packed with useful information.
- Membership in an auto club with international services can be a bargain and help enhance safety.
- There’s safety in numbers. Travel in a group of two or three vehicles if personal safety is a concern.
- Prepare an in-vehicle emergency kit with water, snacks, flash light, crank radio, blanket, etc.
- Along the route, avoid parking in “the back 40”, and store valuables out of sight while dining or shopping.
- Store extra eye glasses in the glove box, and take two sets of car keys – carried by two different people.
- Keep fatigue and low light driving in mind. A slightly longer daylight journey may be best.
Sergeant Bob’s Safety Tips
Winter Tire Safety Reminder for Snowbirds
You’ve installed dedicated winter tires on your vehicle. Great, you have made winter driving safer and less stressful for you and everyone else on the road! But now you’re driving south for a few weeks or months. So what should you do – leave the winter tires on or switch to summer tires and gamble on clear roads?
Yes, dedicated winter tires will wear slightly on the journey south but your chances of running into low temperatures and reduced traction are extremely high. Road conditions in the northern and central United States are frequently as bad as Canadian roads in winter. Consider these three factors:
- The severity and frequency of extreme weather events in recent years. Remember the Atlanta ice storms?
- The ability of local crews/equipment to respond in storms decreases, the further south you drive.
- Our friends to the south will not have our winter driving experience. So give yourself every possible advantage in an over-stressed foul weather environment.
Don’t risk being stranded or involved in an accident. Leave dedicated winter tires on your vehicle until April!