Monthly Archives: January 2017

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 call in terms of discovering just how dangerous their driving can be. They need to discover the rush of speed or the danger of splitting their focus between the road and the zone climate controls or their mobile device.

To get a truer sense of what our forefathers (and foremothers) felt when they drove a vehicle, we need to cycle very quickly down a hill. That level of speed and that sense of vulnerability at being just a slight mishap away from a painful crash is what we should feel when we get behind the wheel and drive faster than the speed limit.

Vehicles will continue to get safer and at the same time continue to get more complicated. As a result, drivers will become increasingly less safe to drive.

Slow down. Drive safe. Arrive at your destination alive. Resist the urge to feel comfortable when behind the wheel.

If you do get into a collision, the collision repair experts at Boyd Autobody & Glass have locations throughout Western Canada and they can help repair your vehicle so you can get back out on the road quickly and safely.

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 goes off in search for that item. Once the first item is found, switch seats and the new driver pulls a card from the secret list created by the new passenger.

• The wanderer. Identify a number of small towns in a big loop that starts and ends where you live. Drive from one to the next, taking a picture of you and your travel partners in front of each town’s sign. Spend a few minutes exploring the town before moving on.

• The movie star. Choose a nearby destination then search for that location on IMDb.com (by using their location search at this link: http://www.imdb.com/search/text). Watch the movie first before you visit the destination and then see it in real life.

• The new you. Rent a vehicle that you don’t normally drive — perhaps a classic vehicle, a convertible, a luxury vehicle, or a sports vehicle — and hit a rural highway for the day. Enjoy the quiet ride, take in the scenery, have a coffee or ice cream at a destination, and return by the end of the day.

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 or turn on the air conditioning or reach for your coffee. That second or two can make all the difference.

In the milliseconds before a collision, your mind unconsciously evaluates as many possibilities as it can to protect you. That’s why you might automatically steer away from the potential collision or brake suddenly or even stiffen your body as a natural response to the danger. Sometimes, a collision with a car might have been your preferred unconscious response to some other potential collision (such as a collision with a cyclist who is not protected in a cage of steel).

Other drivers — unsafe drivers — drive on the same roads you do but don’t take into consideration all of the rules of the road that you do. If even half of the collisions in 2009 were the result of an unsafe driver crashing into a safe driver, that’s still 60,000 safe drivers who were in collisions!

As you can see, even a great driver who decides that they are so safe they can’t get into a collision can still find themselves in a scenario where a collision is inevitable in spite of their safe driving. When a collision like that occurs, it’s no longer about how safe you’re driving, but rather it’s about the safety features in your vehicle.

After your collision, bring your vehicle to Boyd Autobody & Glass for repairs. We’ll work hard to restore your vehicle to pre-collision condition and we’ll restore the safety features that are built into your car to protect you in case of another collision… so you can get back onto the road safely.

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 making sure you’ve given enough space between you and the car in front of you, make sure that you have an escape route just in case the car behind you seems to be slipping out of control.
  • Watch out for the hidden danger. One of the most underrated dangers on winter roads is the light… or lack thereof. In the winter, it gets light very late in the morning and it gets dark much earlier in the evening. Those dawn/dusk hours are hard to drive in because our eyeballs cannot keep pace with the changing light fast enough. On the other hand, driving during the day can be absolutely dazzling when the sun glints off the snow.

Driving in the winter can be difficult even at the best of times

If you are prepared and cautious, you can navigate our Canadian winter roads safely.

If a collision does occur, remember to be extra cautious! Other drivers who might drive around the crash site could slip and slide themselves.

If you find yourself in a collision, bring your vehicle to Boyd Autobody & Glass. We’re the Canadian vehicle repair experts. We know how important it is to get your vehicle repaired and back on the winter roads quickly and safely.