Editorial — Importance of driving safely

Paying close attention to surroundings, in and outside vehicle, is essential for drivers in busy summer driving season.

As  we approach the middle of the summer driving season, it’s important to think about a number of issues.

One is paying close attention to what is going on around you or, as it used to be called, driving defensively.

In a day and age of widespread cellphone use, texting and driving, vehicles equipped with audio and video entertainment systems and increasing traffic congestion on what used to be much quieter streets, paying attention to all circumstances, within and outside your vehicle, is more important than ever.

A crash between an RCMP cruiser and a van at 268 Street and Fraser Highway last week could serve as an illustration. The van, which contained a family of four, had Alberta plates and it is possible the driver was not fully familiar  with the intersection. While the cruiser was heading to a call and had emergency equipment activated, it is possible the driver simply did not see or hear the police vehicle.

Kal Tire has issued a press release noting an often-overlooked summer driving issue — regular checks of tires. In particular, the B.C.-based tire firm notes the importance of being fully aware of issues with RV and trailer tires, something that is often overlooked.

“Drivers need to be checking their tires regularly. Just a few simple maintenance steps, before you leave and during your trip, can really reduce your risk of having your holiday interrupted by tire failure,” says Carey Hull, director of retail products, Kal Tire.

Passenger vehicle tires are not meant for many trailers. While RVs can be equipped with light truck tires, most trailers require special trailer tires, built to have stiffer, heavy duty sidewalls to accommodate heavy loads and track straight to reduce bounce and sway problems.

Kal Tire emphasizes the importance of regularly checking tire pressure and also ensuring that RVs and trailers are not overloaded. This is equally true for all vehicles.

The coming B.C. Day long weekend is often the busiest of the year for vacation travel. Ensuring that your vehicle is safely equipped for travel, and paying close attention to other drivers, will make for a safer trip.

Langley Times