Muskoka driving tips

Staying safe driving in cottage country

For many Ontarians, cottage season is their favourite time of year, as they’re finally given the opportunity to spend their weekends relaxing as they escape from their busy lives. While spending time at your cottage can be an extremely calming experience, the drive can sometimes be quite stressful.

Here are some tips for de-stressing and staying safe on your ride to and from the cottage:

Avoid driving aggressively

When you’re stuck on a packed highway, it’s easy to continually look for ways to make up time. This often causes motorists to drive more aggressively.

If you’re stuck in high-volume traffic during prime time, you’re going to be spending a while behind the wheel no matter what you do. It’s much more important that you stay calm and safe and just accept the fact that your commute won’t be a quick one.

Plan rest stops

If your cottage is more than two hours away, you should plan at least one rest stop. While you may prefer to get to your cottage as quickly as possible, rest stops are a good way to avoid getting fatigued behind the wheel.

It’s easy to zone out on long and flat stretches of highway, which is why it’s important to stay awake. Ideally, you should have someone in the car with you to keep you company.

Look out for wildlife

Not only is it your responsibility to keep your eyes peeled for other motorists, but it’s also important to look out for any wildlife.

Getting into a collision with a moose or deer could be fatal, and will cause damage to your vehicle at the very least. Stay vigilant and don’t speed through the back roads in order to make up for lost time.

Plan an alternative route

Sure, taking the highway may be the most direct route to your cottage, but it will also likely be the most congested option.  Instead, consider taking a route that is a longer in distance, but is likely to have considerably less traffic. Not only will this option be less stressful, but it could also end up taking less time.

Don’t tailgate

If you begin to get frustrated with the heavy traffic, remember that tailgating won’t solve any problems.  Tailgating doesn’t save any time in the grand scheme of things and will only put you in greater danger if the driver in front of you stops abruptly.