Driver distractions have joined alcohol and speeding as leading factors in crashes that cause fatal and serious injuries. However, cellphones aren’t solely to blame. Anything that takes any of your attention away from driving is a distractions. There are three main types of distractions:
- Visual – Taking your eyes off the road
- Manual – Taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – Taking your mind off of driving
Sending or reading a text while driving is the equivalent of driving blindfolded for 5 seconds.
Whether driving for work or for personal reasons, it is important to remember that any activity that you engage in while driving is a potential distraction that increases your risk of crashing. Taking the following precautions can help you avoid distractions while driving.
- Silence your mobile devices and keep them away from you while driving to avoid being distracted by notifications. If you must receive phone calls while on the road, pull over before answering, even if using a hands-free device.
- Set destinations in GPS devices before you depart.
- Make a playlist on your phone before you leave to avoid the temptation of selecting songs or changing radio stations.
- Avoid eating while driving. Take proper breaks to allow yourself time for meals.
- Speak up if you’re a passenger of a distracted driver. Offer to take over the driving responsibilities.
As surprising as it may be, there are many golf cart accidents annually, which result in personal injury, property damage, and even death. Since golfing is intended to be a fun, relaxing, and enjoyable outdoor activity, review the following safety tips to keep you and your fellow golfers safe.
- Drivers and passengers should remain seated while the vehicle is moving at all times.
- Never exceed the maximum capacity for a golf cart – everyone needs his or her own seat.
- Slow down and honk when reaching an intersection to alert other drivers and pedestrians of your presence.
- Reduce your speed when approaching pedestrians; they always have the right-of-way.
- Reduce your speed when turning and passing other carts.
- Use the safety mirrors when approaching intersections.
- Keep all body parts inside the golf cart when it is in motion.
- When it is not in use, place the golf cart’s control lever in the neutral position and remove the key.
- Do not shift gears while the vehicle is in motion.
- Maintain an adequate distance between you and other drivers.
- Your maximum speed will depend on the terrain and weather conditions. Generally, you should operate a golf cart at the same speed as a well-paced walk.
There are more than 672,000 registered motorcycles and mopeds in Canada. Though they are a popular transportation option, motorcycles are also dangerous.
In 2015 alone, 200 motorcyclists died as a result of accidents, according to a study by Transport Canada.
To remain safe, motorcyclists should practice the following safety precautions:
- Test drive your motorcycle before you purchase it to ensure that you can properly control it.
- Take a motorcycle safety course.
- Be mindful of the weather and road conditions at all times.
- Wear a helmet and other safety gear.
- Follow posted speed limits.
- Exercise extreme caution when you are carrying passengers.
- Do not drink alcohol before or while operating a motorcycle.
By utilizing the above tips, you can ride with confidence and avoid potentially deadly accidents.
Finding a babysitter that you trust with the care and protection of your children can be difficult. And the added pressure of choosing someone who gets along well with your family is especially daunting.
Thankfully, the following tips will help simplify the babysitter-selection process:
- Hire a sitter who is at least 16 years of age
- Ensure that the sitter has taken CPR and other relevant courses
- Invite the sitter to spend time with you and your children before you hire him or her for the job. This will allow your children to acclimate and give you some insight into how the sitter interacts with your family
- Conduct a thorough interview and be sure to check references. Ask questions related to experience, availability, and cooking ability
- Trust your gut. Oftentimes, you will be able to get a good sense of what a person is like in the first 10 minutes of meeting with him or her. If your instincts are telling your something, it’s best to follow them.
When interviewing candidates, it’s good to keep the information of one or two backup sitters in case your top choice falls through.
Did You Know?
In spite of the ambiance and relaxation that a fireplace provides, there are also inherent fire dangers. To combat the risk of fire or inhalation of dangerous carbon monoxide (CO) gas, it is important for you to make chimney maintenance part of your home loss prevention plan.
Both metal and masonry chimneys require maintenance so that smoke and flue gases are ventilated properly. At the very least, you should have your chimney inspected annually before each heating season. In addition:
- Have your chimney cleaned on a regular basis to reduce creosote build-up.
- Make sure your masonry chimney has a flue liner in place to reduce the possibility that the masonry could absorb creosote.
- Replace cracked or damaged liners, as they will allow creosote to accumulate and heat to escape.
- When hiring someone to reline your chimney, only allow the contractor to use a product that has been tested and listed by a nationality recognized testing laboratory.
There are two types of chimneys that require specific maintenance to minimize the dangers in your home.
- Fireplace inserts (hearth stoves):
- Vent should be connected to the flue of the chimney.
- Factory-built metal chimneys:
- Do not use natural gas, fuel oil vents, well casing, stovepipe or other material in the chimney, as they cannot withstand the heat in the wood burner.
Do not vent more than one heater or appliance into a single flue, as major complications car arise. If one fuel-burning appliance is connected to a flue and then you attach another appliance, such as a water heater, you are running the risk of the following serious problems:
- Heavy creosote accumulation
- Deterioration of the flue
- Creosote blocking the lower heater vent
- Carbon monoxide drifting into your home
Everyone’s personal life can get a bit hectic at times. these stressful times can cause headaches, an upset stomach, back pain, sleeping disturbances, and difficulty concentrating. Stress also makes it harder for your body to defend against illness and can make current health problems worse.
Not only is stress hard on your body, it also affects your work life and responsibilities. When personal stressors – divorce, death of a family member or friend, money troubles, problems with children, or taking care of an elderly relative – affect your personal life, they can have negative effects on your work life, too.
To ensure that your work doesn’t suffer during a time of personal stress, consider the following recommendations:
- Keep a stress journal and write down exactly what is making you stressed: “I cannot seem to pay off my credit card,” “My children are acting up at school,” or “The death of my mother has made me feel like I can’t go on.” Then record how you react to these stressors and analyze whether there are more effective alternatives for dealing with them.
- Eliminate activities in your life that are not necessary, especially when going through personal stress. Focus your time on your health, your work and getting past the stressful situation.
- Take care of yourself. That means getting plenty of sleep, eating well, and getting regular exercise.
- Work on letting go of things that you can’t change.
- Ask for assistance from family members or friends. Chances are, if it is affecting you, it is also affecting them.
- Talk, laugh, and cry about your stressors. This will help you feel some relief from these burdens by just getting your emotions out.
Breathing exercises, muscle relaxation techniques, getting a massage, aromatherapy, yoga, or pilates are great ways to de-stress. Consider incorporating these practices into your routine.
Studies have shown a strong relationship between the health of the body and the health of the brain. Exercise revs up complex processes inside the brain that can deter depression, help you stay calm and keep your mind sharp.
Exercise Boosts Mental Fitness
The brain has approximately 86 billion neurons designed to give orders to the rest of the body through chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Studies show that deficiencies of two of these neurotransmitters (glutamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA), can lead to mood disorders such as depression. However, moderate exercise can increase the amounts of these two transmitters contributing to increased mental fitness.
Exercise Decreases Stress
When you’re stressed, your brain secretes the “fight or flight” hormone, cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels can create a constant and unnecessary feeling of stress. But, if you exercise, you expose your body to “controlled stress”, which helps regulate your brain’s stress response, keeping you more calm.
Almost one-fourth of Canadians reports experiencing high levels of stress. When stress becomes overwhelming and interferes with your quality of life, it can cause health issues.
The following tips can help you reduce, manage, and avoid stress in your life:
- Set realistic goals for yourself and allow yourself enough time to accomplish them.
- Focus on what you can control, and avoid stressing about things you cannot change.
- Have a positive attitude. Avoid negative thoughts.
- Use available resources. If you need help, ask for it!
- Breathe. Don’t feel bad about taking a break when you absolutely need to.
- Consider regular meditation or exercise to help you stay focused and to curb stress before it appears.
Exercise Slows the Brain’s Aging Process
Your brain ages just like the rest of your body, but exercise can help the brain handle natural, age-related deterioration without taking a toll on your memory. Older adults who exercise have larger brain volumes than those who don’t. Plus, the brain’s hippocampus (which is responsible for memory and learning) is larger in people who are active. Exercising won’t make you smarter, per se, but it will help you remember things better as you age.