Tips to Cleaning a Car

 Interior

Be sure to give your carpets and upholstery a good vacuuming to remove as much dirt and debris as possible. If you want to clean the carpets more aggressively, you can scrub them with a stiff brush (but don’t scrub too hard, because it could damage the carpet) then give the carpet one final vacuum.

Before you start wiping the interior of your vehicle, it’s important to do a patch test of cleaners first to ensure that your vehicle’s interior doesn’t react poorly to the cleaners that you will be using. Start off by wiping a little bit of the product in a difficult to see spot and wait to see if there is a reaction. If nothing happens, then that is a safe indicator that your cleaners are good and you may begin cleaning the interior of your vehicle. It’s important to note that you should only be using a cleaner that is approved for your car’s interior.

The interior of the vehicle builds up dust very quickly, especially in the heating and air conditioning systems and in

Top Tips for Driving at Dusk

 The Challenges of Driving At Dusk

One time of day we don’t think about is dusk. Unfortunately, dusk is a very difficult time to drive. Here are five top tips to drive at dusk:

1. Be aware of the quickly changing light conditions. One moment might be extremely sunny so we are forced to wear sunglasses, but within moments, the sun can darken and our sunglasses end up doing more harm than good. If we don’t have sunglasses, be aware that the rapidly changing light conditions can be very difficult on our eyes (which have a hard time adjusting to those fast-changing conditions). There isn’t a lot you can do about it but awareness helps.

2. Be aware of the setting sun. Have you ever had momentary blindness after a camera has flashed? The same thing can happen if we look into the sun while. This can happen if we are driving west during sunset or if we are driving east (and see the sun reflected in our mirrors). If possible, use your vehicle’s shades and adjust the mirrors. Consider pulling over to the side of the

How to Organize a Local Car Show

 Tips for Organzing Local Car Show

• Decide on a theme. Do you want a classic car show? Do you want a motorcycle show instead? Do you want an antique car show? Or maybe just a general car show that auto enthusiasts of any type can participate in?

• Gauge interest. Talk to potential participants to see if they are interested in taking part. Check a calendar of local events to make sure that there aren’t other car shows at the same time.

• Choose a charity or local cause to raise money. You’ll also need to decide how to raise support — will you charge admission? Will you hold a raffle? Will you take donations? Remember, it doesn’t have to be financial support; your local food bank will probably welcome donations of canned goods.

• Find a good location. Your location should be central to the area you hope to draw a crowd from. Talk to the owner of a restaurant, ice cream shop, or coffee shop; they might welcome a car show in their

Best Practices for Driving Safe in Spring

In Canada, we face the most extreme weather

Winter can be as low as -40 C (even colder with the wind chill) and summer can be as high as +40 C. That’s an 80 degree difference, which is hard on the roads and our vehicles. It also creates new challenges for us in each season, since we have to get used to the quirks and challenges of driving during that season. In summer, we face the blazing hot and blinding sun. In the winter, we barely maintain control on snowy, icy roads.

But what about the spring?

As short of a season as it is in Canada, it still presents its own unique challenges. Here are some top tips to driving safer in springtime.

  • Remember the temperature differential between day and night. The day time can be sunny and warm, but the nights can be still quite cold. As a result, the roads can still be icy when we leave the house for work in the morning, even though the weather only seems to be “jacket weather”. Adding to the challenge is the fact that snowmelt can turn to water and run off of

Not Every Danger on the Road is Visible

Be aware of them and watch for them so you can avoid a collision when these invisible dangers are present

  • Vehicles in your blindspot. This is probably the best-known “invisible danger” and yet so many drivers fail to check their blindspots before turning. A quick shoulder-check gives you an opportunity to sweep your blindspots with your eyes to make sure it’s safe to turn
  • Children. Children are oblivious to the world around them. And they’re short. That’s a scary combination! Any snowbank, parked vehicle, or large tree could have a child standing behind it who is about to go running obliviously out onto the street. Spot those hazards and watch them carefully as you approach them
  • Anything to the left or right of your vehicle while reversing. There are several dangers that you can face while going forward. But there is one big invisible danger you face when reversing: It’s anything to the left or the right of your vehicle! As you back up, and presumably turn your wheel, the front of your vehicle swings in that direction… but most people’s necks are craned around so they can see out the back window at the time. A

8 Ways You Can Drive Safer Right Now

Here are eight ways you can be a safer driver

  1. Slow down. Speed is one of the top causes of collisions. Actually, it’s not speed itself but it’s the reduced reaction time that you have when you drive above the speed limit. Speed limits are chosen for a reason, including the number of potential hazards you’ll face on a road and the distance you need to stop.
  2. Don’t call or text. Distracted driving is on the rise as mobile devices become more popular. We lead busy lives and feel the need to multitask in the vehicle while we drive. However, driving takes 100% of our attention.
  3. Slow down at crosswalks. Yes, you are already watching your speed (see #1) but slowing down at crosswalks is a good way to stay vigilant just in case a pedestrian steps out without properly signalling.
  4. Be aware of the danger zones. Danger zones aren’t necessarily places but times. There are certain times of the day when different hazards exist. For example, at dawn or dusk, animals might be more likely to roam the streets unseen. Also, just before or after school hours are prime times for kids to

Most Dangerous Bad Habits of Seasoned Drivers

The combination of inexperience and peer pressure to occasionally do dangerous things is not a good combination when someone is behind the wheel.

However, that doesn’t mean seasoned drivers are necessarily safer. Seasoned drivers can still be unsafe drivers… But for very different reasons. For seasoned drivers, it all boils down to habits. Seasoned drivers might start off with good habits but over time it is easy to become lazy and let some good driving habits disappear, or even to fail to keep up to the changing demands of driving.

Here are some of the top ways that seasoned drivers are unsafe drivers

  • They fail to check their mirrors and/or blindspots as frequently as they are supposed to. Checking mirrors and blindspots ensures that the driver is aware of the location of nearby vehicles. Seasoned drivers who might have enjoyed years of collision-free driving, sometimes let this essential habit slip as they focus on other things – the road ahead or something going on in the vehicle
  • They fail to adequately control the vehicle. Although driving with “hands on ten and two” (the location of the hands on the steering wheel) might have been something they

Funny Vehicle Safety Features That We’ll Never See

Although We Want Safe Vehicles, There Is A Limit

Here are some safety features you’ll never see:

  • Glow-in-the-dark vehicle: “But officer, I didn’t see the car” is a common complaint. This is solved if we all drove around in glow-in-the-dark vehicles
  • Sumo belts: Instead of a seatbelt, drivers get into those novelty sumo wrestling suits so that, in the event of a collision, everyone bounces around harmlessly inside the vehicle
  • Mandatory indicators: Who hasn’t seen drivers turn without signalling, or drivers who signal without turning. It’s a common sight on the road. Indicators and turning signals should be connected so that drivers cannot turn without first having their signal on, and drivers cannot signal without also turning
  • Giant indicators: Some collisions occur because one driver didn’t notice the other driver’s indicator lights. So giant halogen indicators that indicate every turn with clarity might actually be helpful
  • Balloon fenders: Our vehicles are becoming increasingly aware. So when they sense a collision about to strike, they deploy airbags outside of the vehicle to protect the vehicle against anything that might hit it
  • Following-too-close alarms: vehicles should come equipped with the ability to detect when another vehicle is following too closely and when it is traveling at an

Is Your Vehicle NASCAR Safe?

There’s the Nationwide Series or the bigger, faster, and more famous Sprint Cup Series. (There’s also a truck series and a Canadian NASCAR series, too). It’s a popular sport that can attract over a hundred thousand spectators to a single race. Every fan has their favorite driver and the roar of the crowd at those races is almost as loud as the roar of the engines.

In those races, the vehicles go very fast around a track, and in very close proximity. And sometimes, they collide for an explosive (and entertaining) collision that causes cars to go spinning around the track and over the grass.

But the drivers are very safe. Although there are injuries (and even the occasional tragic death), NASCAR cars are extremely safe. They have very strong cages that the vehicle is built around. The drivers are wedged in tightly with a lot of straps and protective padding. There are special “fins” on the vehicle that are built to keep the car close to the ground so that it is not likely going to flip over if it spins around. The barriers are made of foam and are highly absorbent. (Those “safer barriers”

Your Vehicle’s Glass is a Key Component to Your Safety

Your Vehicle’s Glass Is A Key Component In Your Safety

Even if it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Here’s why:

  1. You vehicle’s glass is very strong and takes a beating, protecting you from wind, dirt, dust, rocks, bugs, snow, ice and rain
  2. Your vehicle’s glass is part of the structural integrity of your vehicle. Most people don’t realize this but your vehicle’s windows are designed to help maintain the shape of your vehicle and to keep the roof from collapsing in on the occupants in the event of a collision
  3. Your vehicle’s glass is specially designed to be crumble instead of shatter in the event of a collision. Although this glass can still potentially cut you, it is designed so that it turns into tiny pebbles instead of dangerous, knife-like shards

Your vehicle’s glass cares for you. Here’s how to care for your vehicle’s glass…

  1. Keep your windows clean. Whenever you pull in to a gas station to fuel up, wash the outside of your windows. Dirty windows keep you from seeing properly and can create blindspots which can lead to collision. Be sure to wash the inside of your windows periodically, too, because even

How to Stay Safe While Driving Next to the Parking Lane

Here’s how to drive a little more safely when there’s a parking lane to the right of you

  • Look ahead to take in the full line-up of vehicles, don’t just look one or two vehicle lengths ahead
  • If possible, pull over just a little to your left (while remaining in your lane) to give yourself just a little extra room
  • Slow down slightly to give yourself some time to react in case someone makes a sudden movement
  • Watch for indicator signals of vehicles that are pulling out of the parking lane into your lane
  • Watch for movement as vehicles break the pattern of being lined up with the curb, and watch for turning front tires as vehicles start to edge out into traffic
  • Look through the rear windows of each vehicle to watch for the silhouette of someone’s head in the driver’s seat. This isn’t fool-proof (they might have tinted window or they might be too short for their head to appear over the headrest) but it can give you an indication of a parked vehicle that might pull out into your lane
  • Looking for heads in vehicles is also a great way to watch for the risk of doors opening up in front of you
  • Keep

As Vehicles Get Safer, We Get Unsafer

Today, things have changed

Roads are paved. We don’t share the road with horses. Vehicles are enclosed, much faster and built to be safer.

But is it making us unsafe when we drive?

Since vehicles are enclosed and built to be virtually soundproof, we can drive very fast without realizing it. We don’t experience the feeling of speed because we are safely cocooned inside our quiet, smooth vehicle. (Compare that to our great grandparents who drove slowly because they would feel like they were driving in a windtunnel if they went too fast).

Today’s wonderfully modern vehicles make driving comfortable, safer and more enjoyable. But they keep us from fully appreciating the breakneck speeds that we travel. We feel confident that the innumerable safety features of the vehicle will keep us safe in the event of a collision. We get distracted by the even more complex vehicles we drive today (compared to the much simpler vehicles our great-grandparents drove).

Today’s highly advanced, safer vehicles can actually make us drive less safely because we can’t fully appreciate the danger of our decisions.

Although today’s vehicles are much safer, drivers need a wake up

5 Ideas for an End-of-Summer Road Trip

Here are a few tips to enjoy one last end-of-summer weekend road trip

These iseas won’t break the bank or require that you burn up any more vacation time, but will put the finishing touches on a great summer.

• The explorer. Get out the map and sit down with your travel partner and find a place that is a three to six hour drive away… but it must be a place that neither of you have ever been to. Call ahead to locate a place to stay. On Saturday morning, head out on your trip and discover an entirely new place! Return home Sunday morning but take a different route.

• The scavenger hunt. This is a day-long in-town road trip! You and your travel partner each write out a secret list of 20 or more things you might see around town and put each item on a separate 3×5 card. (Some ideas include: a pond, a cathedral gargoyle, a sequence of street address numbers, a cell phone tower, a mailbox of a specific color, etc.). On your “road trip”, the driver pulls a card from the secret list created by the passenger and

Misconceptions About Collisions

What Causes Collisions?

First, no one ever plans to get into a collision. Deciding not to get into a collision isn’t really a “decision” you can make.

Second, collisions don’t just happen because two unsafe drivers crash into each other. They happen when one unsafe driver crashes into a safe driver or when one safe driver loses control of their vehicle and crashes into another safe driver.

Collisions occur because of a combination of factors, and not all of those factors are entirely controlled by the person sitting in the driver’s seat.

The environment can make it difficult to be aware of what’s going on around you. For example, fog can limit your ability to see very far or lightning can blind you momentarily.The environment can foil your quick and accurate reactions. For example, icy roads can keep you driving straight even when you’re doing your best to turn.

Numerous distractions can cause you to react a second or two too late. Even if you’re not on your cell phone or yelling at the kids in the back seat, it can be easy to take your attention from the road to shift gears

Preparing for Winter Driving

Be Prepared!

  • Pack the appropriate gear in your vehicle (like survival gear for longer trips and salt or sand plus a shovel for in the city). If you never need it, great. But the one time you do need it will make it worthwhile.
  • Winter driving requires extra time. Plan to leave an extra 15 or 20 minutes earlier whenever you drive. You’ll need a couple of minutes to brush the snow off the car and the roads will require a little extra care when navigating.
  • Be extra careful at intersections. Intersections are extremely dangerous in the winter! Leading up to the intersection, the roads become polished from constant braking so they can be extra slippery. As well, snow banks can block your vision… and keep other drivers from seeing the stop sign! Brake early when approaching an intersection, assume that other drivers aren’t going to be able to stop on time, and edge out slowly when snow banks keep you from seeing clearly around corners.
  • Remember that it is slippery out! This might be a “no brainer” to you, but even the most careful drivers need to remember that other drivers are less careful. Therefore, even if you are

The Four Personalities You Meet on the Road

If you want to be a safer driver, be aware of the four kinds of personalities on the road

Chances are, you’ll recognize yourself as one of these personalities and — more importantly — you’ll spot these personalities among other drivers. Knowing how you and everyone else reacts can help you predict and avoid collisions.

The timid driver

The timid driver is the one who drives slower than the speed limit and sometimes brakes without warning on what appears to be a clear road. They can slow sooner than most on an approach to intersections and they are likely very slow to start off again when the light turns green. They appear to be easily startled by driving conditions

How to drive around these drivers: Give them lots of space if you’re driving behind them because they might brake suddenly. Don’t get aggressive. Their style might annoy you but it will make them more timid and unpredictable. Just pass them and keep driving

The aggressor

The aggressor pushes the speed limit, edges into traffic with very little space, and shouts at other drivers even if no one can hear them. The aggressor

Unsafe Driving Excuses (and how to avoid making them)

Popular Excuses People Use When Driving Unsafely

Unfortunately, we never outgrow the need to rely on excuses, and sometimes we feel forced to rely on grown-up versions of those excuses when we drive unsafely.

• “I didn’t wear my seat belt because it was just a quick trip down the street”. This can be easily avoided by always wearing your seat belt any time you get behind the wheel. It doesn’t matter how long your trip is, you should always buckle up.

• “I didn’t realize how fast I was going”. Police hear this one all the time and they don’t believe it. People usually know how fast they were going. By using this excuse, you admit to not paying attention to one of the most important factors of driving!

• “I didn’t see the car in front of me stopping so suddenly.” This is a common reason given for rear-end collisions but you never have to give this excuse if you leave sufficient room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front. Although that isn’t always possible, it’s a good practice to follow.

• “The light turned red but I was going

What to Do After a Collision

Move Your Vehicle

At the time of the collision; most drivers feel that it’s best to leave the vehicle where the accident took place. However, if it’s safe to do so, the vehicle should be moved out of the flow of traffic, as this can help avoid further collisions (by pulling onto a shoulder or side street). Be sure to turn off your vehicle as soon after the collision as possible to prevent further danger from potential leaking fluids which can be combustible. Be sure to turn your hazard lights on to warn drivers of the collision and then exit the vehicle when it is safe to do so.

Check for Injuries

Be sure to check if you have been hurt from the collision, and if there are additional passengers, check to see if they were injured or not. If you or your passengers were significantly injured and require medical attention, it’s vital to call 911 immediately. In addition, if you were unharmed and it is safe to do so, check the passengers in the other vehicle (s) to see if they were injured or not.

Exchange Insurance Information and Document the accident

4 Great Mobile Apps for Drivers

The following are some helpful apps for drivers that we think are valuable

Twitter:

Twitter is a great tool that provides real time information. Sometimes it’s not so helpful (I don’t care what kind of sandwich you’re eating) but sometimes it can be helpful. Use Twitter’s search function (http://search.twitter.com) to help you plan your route. Search for the name of your city or town plus the word “traffic”. For example, search “Vancouver Traffic” or the hashtag #vancouvertraffic if you live in Vancouver. (Of course, substitute your own city or town). This can alert you in real time to accidents, construction, lane closures, and more, without having to wait for the traffic report on the radio.

Waze:

Here’s an interesting app that has some interesting potential. It’s called “social GPS” and it provides turn-by-turn GPS functionality for your iPhone or Android device. So, how is it different than regular GPS? As a “social GPS”, it builds off of information from other users so it can respond in real time to road conditions. If only a few people use it, it’s frankly not going to be that helpful (because there is less input for the “real

What Back to School Means for Drivers

“Back to school” means something else entirely for drivers

“Back to school” should be synonymous with “SLOW DOWN”.

In the summer drivers tend to relax a little because (compared to winter driving) the roads are nice and dry and we can see further ahead. The sun is out for much longer and people take vacations, so there are fewer people on the roads. In other words, it’s much easier to drive safely in the summer and (if we were to be honest with ourselves) we may slack a little in our driving diligence. Most people are also thinking about sitting on the beach or doing some much-needed yard work in the beautiful sunshine!

Now we’re nearing September and school is starting up again. Children will be going to and from school and additional environmental distractions (like a later sunrise or an earlier sunset and more traffic) will make it harder to drive.

So what does this mean for drivers?

It’s simple: When you’re driving, slow down and keep an eye out for children. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re in a school zone. Remember that kids have to walk from their neighbourhood