Snowbirds: Safety in the Sunny South
Soon, 1.5 million Snowbirds will leave on their annual migration to the sunny south. The Canada Safety Council says that a few simple precautions will help ensure a safe, healthy and enjoyable stay.
Safety on the Trip Down
If you drive, travel during the daylight hours and avoid rush hour traffic. Older drivers have more collisions per kilometer driven, so make sure you are ready for the driving task. Also, medications can affect your driving skills. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication if you will be driving.
Never, never drink and drive! Impaired driving is a major cause of fatalities and injuries on North American highways. The consequences can follow you, your loved ones and your victims for life.
Safety in the Car
Carjacking is now a real fear in some large American cities. The Miami tourist guide advises visitors not to stop if their car is struck from behind. Do not get out to inspect the damage. Drive to the nearest police station if possible. The FBI recommends these precautions:
- Use freeways, rather than streets that might pass through high crime areas.
- Know where you are going before you leave.
- Leave space between your car and other cars at traffic signals and stop signs.
- Keep doors locked and windows up.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- If you are renting a car, make sure it does not sport a rental sticker; rental firms in many American cities no longer have their identification on their cars.
Safety on the Street
Tourists are easy targets because they carry valuables. To make yourself a less attractive target:
- Dress modestly.
- Don’t wear flashy jewelry.
- Keep cameras concealed.
- Know where you are going and walk confidently.
Safety in the Sun
The cumulative effects of excessive sun exposure, especially sunburn in young children, can produce skin cancer in later years. According to the Canadian Dermatology Association, over 60,000 Canadians develop skin cancer annually…but the good news is that skin cancer is almost totally preventable.
The Canada Safety Council’s Canada Sun Guide helps Canadians combine sun safety with outdoor activities. Golf, boating, swimming and long walks on the beach can be healthy, fun and safe if you follow the four Canada Sun Guide basics:
- Minimize sun exposure.
- Seek and create shade.
- Cover up.
- Use sunscreen.