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Victoria Day safety tips for the road and your home

May 15, 2024 | By: Anne Marie Thomas, Director, Consumer & Industry Relations, IBC
Victoria Day safety tips for the road and your home

The Victoria Day long weekend is here and for many, it marks the end of a harsh winter and the unofficial start of the summer season.

As per usual on long weekends, traffic will be heavy across the country as many take to the roads for fun getaways and cottage or cabin retreats.

Whether you’re planning to hit the roads or are simply laying low at home this weekend, here is a list of tips to help ensure a safe and enjoyable Victoria Day weekend.

On the road:

  • Drive sober or have a designated driver. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is extremely dangerous and illegal. Sadly, all too often during holiday weekends, we hear news reports of serious collisions involving drugs and alcohol. Related: the Ontario government just introduced new legislation that, if passed, would impose stiffer penalties for impaired drivers. We commend the government on this announcement and its commitment to helping protect families.

  • Don’t drive distracted. Distracted driving can potentially be as dangerous as impaired driving and is much more common. Keep distractions to a minimum.

  • Share the road. Be cautious of cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians – there will be more of each out there now that the weather is better. Remember, always yield to vulnerable road users, even if they don’t have the right-of-way.

  • Tow or haul safely. Before you tow a trailer or haul a load, make sure your vehicle is properly equipped for the job. Check your owner’s manual or contact your vehicle dealer. Ensure that your rear-view mirrors give a clear view of the road.

  • Watch for wildlife. If you see a wild animal on or near the road, brake firmly, but don’t swerve. Sound your horn in a series of short bursts to frighten the animal away.

At your home:

  • Update or create your home inventory. Having an updated home inventory list helps ensure you have the appropriate level of contents coverage in your home insurance policy and will come in handy in the unfortunate event of a claim. Take photographs of your valuables and keep receipts in a safe place.

  • Change the batteries in your CO and smoke alarms. Even if they aren’t dead, using a defined date, like the Victoria Day weekend, to change them will help you keep track of when they were last replaced.

  • Be wary of water. With warmer weather comes the potential for flooding (re: spring thaw and spring showers). Help safeguard your property by clearing your eavestroughs and directing your downspouts away from your home; moving valuables out of your basement; and maintaining proper grading around your home. (These are just a few tips to help protect against water damage, review the rest on our spring season page.) 

  • Create an emergency plan and kit. When disaster strikes, does your family know what to do and where to go? Practice a plan with the whole team this weekend. For the emergency kit, ensure you have the essentials (like water and food), first-aid supplies, cash, flashlight and batteries, chargers and any necessary prescription medications. For more, check out our emergency preparedness page. 

  • Know your policy. Take the time now to review your policies and ensure they fit your needs. If you have questions, contact your insurance rep. They’re on your side and are happy to help.

Finally, if you’re hosting a party – whether at home or the cottage or cabin, know your liquor liability as a social host. If you’re a homeowner or tenant, you may be held responsible for your guests' actions – even after they leave – if you serve them alcohol or cannabis. Review these 5 tips to help keep you and your guests safe.

We hope you have a great Victoria Day weekend. If you’re celebrating, do so safely and responsibly.

About This Author

Anne Marie Thomas has over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry. She has worked for some of Canada's largest insurance companies and has extensive underwriting and management experience in Personal and Commercial Lines. She was also a licenced personal and commercial insurance broker. Anne Marie has many years of experience as an insurance spokesperson in television, radio, print and social media.