Stay safe on the roads this summer: Herscu

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By Kirsten McMahon, Managing Editor

With summer officially underway, it’s important to conduct a safety check-up before having fun in the sun, says Easy Legal Finance Inc. president and CEO Larry Herscu.

“Whether you are heading out on a family road trip, driving to cottage country or taking a long motorcycle ride, safety begins before you even start the engine.”

Herscu says people can get caught up in the excitement of summer and forget basic maintenance including rotating tires, getting an oil change, refiling fluids, checking wiper blades, and the like.

“It doesn’t matter what you’re driving — car, a recreational vehicle (RV), motorcycle or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) — it’s important to get a tune-up and make sure everything is in good working condition,” he says.

It’s also a good time to review your insurance policies to make sure you are adequately covered, Herscu says.

“If you are going on a road trip, make sure you’re familiar with the traffic rules of other jurisdictions and be aware of your surroundings. If you are a member of a roadside assistance club, check their services and policies in advance of your vacation,” he says.

When it comes to motorcycles and ATVs, Herscu says protective gear — including a helmet with a sun shield — is a must.

“It can be scary this time of the year,” he says. “People are so excited to get on the road or trails that they forget basic safety rules and then you start hearing about all these accidents.”

Herscu says a big part of Easy Legal’s business is offering financial support to those who have been hurt in an accident to help them pay bills while their lawyer fights for a fair settlement.

Distracted driving should also be avoided at all costs, he says.

“It’s becoming a much bigger issue and it frequently happens on long drives,” Herscu says. “Distracted driving includes looking at a map on your phone or fiddling with the GPS, eating and drinking, children arguing or watching movies in the back seat — anything that takes your eyes and your concentration off the road.”

To avoid distracted driving and its penalties, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation recommends turning off your phone or switching it to silent mode before you get in the car.

“Before you leave the house, record an outgoing message that tells callers you’re driving and you’ll get back to them when you’re off the road,” the website states.

If you have to make a call, send a text or check a map, have a passenger do it for you or carefully pull over to a safe area, Herscu says.

In an effort to beat traffic, he says sometimes cottagers will either leave very early in the morning or late at night. A recent study out of Quebec shows sleep-deprived driving is the third leading cause of car accidents in the province after alcohol and speeding.

“If you’re exhausted or drowsy, this ranks right up there with impaired and distracted driving,” Herscu says. “It’s just not worth it.”

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