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Driving Tips for New Drivers in Toronto

Driving Tips for New Drivers in Toronto

New drivers face the exciting challenge of learning the roads of Canada, but the roads can be treacherous, especially in winter conditions or in busy cities like Toronto.

With fines for dangerous driving increasing due to Ontario laws, and with a steep learning curve ahead, new drivers can find themselves lost.

We want our guests to stay safe on the busy Toronto roads. That’s why we put together our 5 driving tips to help you stay safe and calm on the road no matter how busy it gets (we’re looking at you, 401).

Whether you’re new to Canada or want to buff up your driving skills, this blog post is for you.

A night dusktime shot of downtown Toronto, Canada.

Driving Tips #1 - Stay Alert and Awake

Distractions can be one of the deadliest hazards on the road for new drivers.

If you find yourself feeling sleepy, pull over and rest. Put your cell phone away and don’t drive distracted! Travel with another driver if you have a long trip ahead, so you can stay sharp and alert. 

You should always remain alert and focused on the road, as factors can change in the blink of an eye.

A young Asian woman yawns while she's driving.

Drowsy driving can impede you in multiple ways, including motor skills and slower reaction times, sensitivity to light, coordination, poorer judgment, and falling asleep at the wheel. 

To read more of the warning signs of drowsy driving, click here

#2 - Follow the Law of the Road

Distracted driving is just like it sounds… it’s trying to do something else or diverting your attention elsewhere while driving your vehicle. In Ontario, this driving offence is taken very seriously with first violations carrying a fine of up to $1000, 3 demerit points, and a license suspension of 3 days.

If you are caught distracted driving a second time, the penalty is even harsher with fines as high as $2000, along with 6 demerit points, and a license suspension of 7 days. This should remind you to stay off your phone and stay focused on the road when you are behind the wheel. 

Due to an uptick in aggressive and dangerous driving in Ontario, the Ontario government rolled out the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act in 2021. This increased fines and penalties for dangerous and reckless driving charges for Ontario drivers.

If you’re a new driver, you need to be aware of the speed limits, lane changes highway laws, and applicable road laws. 

A busy road with cars in multiple lanes.

Driving Tips #3 - Go the Speed Limit

While going the speed limit is included in our previous driving tip, we need to emphasize the importance of going the speed limit for new drivers. This includes not driving too slowly, or too fast, and not allowing other drivers proper reaction times. 

Young drivers in Canada are more at risk for collisions, with the fatal collision rate per 100,000 licensed drivers aged 16-19 being 6.5% in 2021.

This was an increase of 5% compared to 2019… so what can you do to stay safe? Driving the speed limit plays a massive role in your safety on the road, for both you and the other drivers.

Did you know that obeying the speed limit will also save you money? Driving steadily, and gradually braking and accelerating is better for your fuel economy, and better for your wallet. 


A speed limit post that says 60 km per hour, on the side of a road.

#4 - Be Aware of Others

Even if you as a new driver drive perfectly, others on the road may not!

Use your turning signals appropriately, especially when changing lanes, and stay in the correct lanes on the highway. Stay alert to other vehicles on the road and double-check your blind spots!

Driving safely has many benefits, including better insurance rates. Avoiding collisions with other drivers, obeying the road laws, avoiding speeding tickets… all help keep your insurance rates lower.

Want to improve your insurance rates even more? New drivers can enroll in a driver's ed program that can help your driving record on paper, and give you the skills to avoid collisions in reality.


A pedestrian hits a crosswalk signal while a car drives past on a city road.


Driving Tips #5 - Be Prepared

We live in Ontario, Canada, and it can get COLD. You’ll want to ensure that you’re prepared for any weather conditions or emergencies that may arise.

Driving in winter? Make sure you have winter tires on your vehicle and have cleared your windows of ice and snow for clear visibility.

Are you driving late at night? Ensure your headlights are clean and bright, and that you are alert and awake.

Driving off into the sunset? Make sure you have sunglasses and can block the sun out of your vision for safe travels.

Light flares on a car windshield while driving at night, on a busy road.

Also Read: “Get Your Car Ready for a Winter Road Trip” 

We’re Here for Ontario Drivers

We are your one-stop-shop Nissan dealership here in Woodbine, Ontario! Our team believes in the customer-for-life concept and is proud to offer extraordinary customer service to our guests.

Are you looking to buy a new or pre-owned vehicle in Ontario? Need a service appointment for your vehicle?

New drivers often want to explore financing options before making a final decision… does any of this sound like you? 

Then you’re in the right place. Contact our team at Woodbine Nissan today! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more helpful content like this! 

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