Back To School Safe Driving Tips

With children returning to school next week, roads will be very busy. ICBC is asking drivers to give themselves extra travel time so they aren’t rushing and more likely to ­speed. Drivers should be completely focused on the road and be watching for children, especially in or around school zones.

Last year, 7,900 drivers were ticketed for speeding in school and playground zones in B.C. Police and Speed Watch volunteers will be closely monitoring drivers’ speeds in school zones to help children get a safe start to the school year.

  • When you’re dropping off your children in school zones, allow them to exit the car on the side closest to the sidewalk. Never allow a child to cross mid-block.
  • If a vehicle’s stopped in front of you or in the lane next to you, they may be yielding to a pedestrian, so proceed with caution and be prepared to stop.
  • Watch for school buses and when their lights are flashing, vehicles approaching from both directions must stop.
  • Before getting into your vehicle, walk around it to make sure no small children are hidden from your view. Always look for pedestrians when you’re backing up.
  • In residential areas, a hockey net or ball can mean that kids are playing nearby. Watch for children as they could dash into the street at any moment.
  • Remember that every school day, unless otherwise posted, a 30 km/h speed limit is in effect in school zones from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In playground zones, a 30 km/h speed limit is in effect every day from dawn to dusk.

A Summer Road Trip Checklist

Goin’ down the road…

Before you embark on your summer road trip, be sure to put together a checklist of things that you’ll need to do to make sure that the memories you make are good ones.

 

  • Check your fluids. Make sure that your oil is fresh and have it changed if needed. Consider using a synthetic blend if you are going a long way or will be hauling a trailer. It will help to prevent your vehicle from overheating.
  • Check your engine coolant and windshield washer reservoir.
  • Top off your brake, transmission and differential fluids.
  • A quick lube job is also a good idea.
  • Make sure that all of your tires, including your spare, are properly inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendations and have good tread.
  • Check your hoses and belts for obvious signs of deterioration. Hoses wear out quicker close to the clamps that hold them in place.
  • Look at the underside of the belts. Try to stretch them. If they give more than a half inch, you should have them replaced.
  • Trickle charge your battery to its full capacity. The terminals should be rust-free and tight.

HAPPY MOTORING!

5 Warning Signs of Failing Brakes

Spotting the early warning signs of brake failure can help you avoid accidents and damage to your vehicle. In most cases, brake systems give plenty of advance notice before they fail completely.

By addressing these issues quickly and effectively, you can ensure the greatest safety for yourself and your passengers on the road. Here are some of the most common signs of brake issues for your car, truck or SUV.

  1. Squeaking or grinding noises
  2. Brake lights on
  3. Soft, less responsive braking
  4. Burning smells around tires
  5. Vibrations when braking

Be aware of the signs of failing breaks and get your brakes looked after by a professional. You’ll enjoy your summer getaways much more knowing your brakes are in good working order!

Prepare for Summer Driving

 

While most people know about winterizing their car, many people don’t realize their car has special summer needs too. Here are a few things to check as you set out on your summer travels:

 
5 Things to check

  1. Check all your fluid levels.
  2. Good spark plugs and a clean air filter add up to better gas mileage.
  3. Check your tires for wear and alignment and make certain they have equal pressure. This will help you stop quickly without sliding in emergency situations. It will also give you better gas mileage.
  4. Get your brakes checked. The time spent getting them inspected may save your life later!
  5. Check your cooling system. Make certain your radiator isn’t clogged, and all the hoses and belts in your engine are working properly.

Driving on Wet Roads

Everybody knows that oil and water don’t mix. A rainstorm, especially a downpour on a hot summer road makes it hard for your tires to get good traction.

As the rain builds up on the road surface, oily dirt is forced from the pavement and sits on top of the roadway. That makes it hard for your tires to get good traction.

  • Never hit the brakes hard if you start to slide, slowly press on the brakes.
  • Be sure your tires are safe and properly inflated.

If you do have damage due to a wet roadway, call a certified collision repair centre like B&D Autobody and get fast, dependable service in the Vancouver area.

Spring Driving Tips

It is difficult to see pedestrians in wet foggy conditions, so drive slower when you see people standing by the side of the road, as you never know what they may do.

Spring brings cyclists back on the roads, so exercise your usual precautions.

Like humans, animals are much more active in spring than in winter. Look out for animals that cross the roads, especially around dawn and dusk when visibility is generally poorer. If you see one animal on or beside the road, assume that there’s more around too.

Wash the underbody of your vehicle regularly to prevent the salt on the roads from causing rust and corrosion.

If you take good care of yourself and your vehicle through the spring, you will stay safer to enjoy the upcoming summer.

Types of Windshield Wiper Blades

The 3 main categories

Front wiper blades fall into three main categories – metal framed, rubber-sheathed winter, and beam (or frameless) styles. They all have pluses and minuses when it comes to keeping us safe.

Metal-framed or skeleton-type wipers have the longest history in auto wiper blades and basically excel in only one area – economy. To be fair, if you replace them as often as appropriate, about 12 to 18 months, and treat them with care during de-icing, they can do a passable job for most vehicles in most weather.

Rubber-sheath blades are simply traditional metal framed units with a thin rubber sleeve attached to their skeletons. About the only benefit this adds is the ease of removing built-up ice or snow when clearing your vehicle before the hitting the road. Moisture can still get to the skeleton’s joints, leaving them as unbending as plain metal-framed blades.

Beam blades seem to answer many of the problems of the first two with a one-piece, flexible poly-material frame. They can adapt to aggressive windshield curves and aren’t subject to pivot or joint freeze-ups. They come at a cost, often priced at twice that of metal-framed units, depending on length. While their one-piece frames can outlast skeleton style blades, their rubber inserts have about the same lifespan, about 12 to 18 months.

Winter Tire Tips

Make sure you buy four tires; skimping and putting winter tires only on the drive end of the car will result in unpredictable handling and could be dangerous.

If you’d rather not remount your tires each season, pick up a separate set of inexpensive steel wheels for permanent winter-tire duty. This also keeps expensive alloy wheels from getting damaged in harsh, salty winter conditions.

Swap to winter tires in November and back to all-season or summer tires around Easter–winter tires’ softer rubber compounds wear quickly in warmer temperatures.

Store off-season tires in a cool, dry area out of the sun, and consider wrapping them in black plastic bags to reduce oxidation.

Remembering The Fallen

IN FLANDERS FIELDS
– by Lt Colonel John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 

Poem written during World War 1 by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of a friend and fellow soldier.