You’re back from a great summer and looking at the accumulation of things that need to be done. Your peers and contacts are back in their workplaces, so you can finally connect on those projects you talked about a few months ago. Time and budgets are limited so you have a responsibility, and an opportunity, to choose safe and efficient travel options.
Before you plan when you’re going to travel to that meeting, your first question should be if you need to travel at all. The best way to reduce driving hazards is to avoid driving altogether. These days, there is an abundance of communications modes – online meeting, teleconference, video conference – that accomplish the same objectives as in-person meetings. By avoiding travel you not only reduce your exposure to road risks, you will find you save time and money. Plus you are choosing an option that has a smaller environmental footprint – good for you, good for our planet!
Tip - On a kilometre by kilometre basis, travel by air, train or bus is less risky than driving.
For a lot of work, there is no substitute for being there in person – you can’t remotely build a house and virtual pizzas taste terrible. But that doesn’t mean you have to drive a vehicle to get there. British Columbians are spending countless dollars to develop public transit systems with schedules and capacities to accommodate a wide array of passengers. You’re already paying for those services, so put them to work for you. While someone else drives, you can relax and catch up on other tasks.
After you have considered the alternatives, if driving is your best choice, take time to prepare for a successful trip.
- Choose the right time and the right route. Check local traffic patterns; avoid known traffic snarls and peak traffic periods when driving hazards are greatest.
- Work with the weather. Build a travel plan that takes advantage of good weather and favourable driving conditions.
- Establish your check-in. Especially if you’re driving alone, share your travel plan (route, destination, arrival time, contact info) with a reliable co-worker. Let them know when you arrive safely.
- Prepare yourself. Get a good night’s rest before the journey. Take a container of water to keep hydrated, and a healthy snack to re-energize. Beware medications that cause drowsiness.
- Prepare the vehicle. Inspect the vehicle to confirm all systems are working. Check your emergency kit.
- Enjoy your trip. Give yourself a little extra time to stop for a break and enjoy the scenery along the way.