5 Ways to be More of a Defensive Driver

Why Defensive Driving is Important

5 Ways to be More of a Defensive Driver | X-Copper

Defensive driving is a way of driving that increases your level of safety while on the road regardless of the road and weather conditions and the actions of other drivers around you. The goal of defensive driving is to predict and avoid dangerous situations.

You can do this by following guidelines, reacting to potential situations in a certain way, and taking specific steps while driving.  

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Responding to Stationary Emergency Vehicles on the Road

emergency vehicle The Move Over law was enacted across Canadian provinces in order to better protect emergency workers after they pull over on the shoulder of a road in response to a traffic collision or related emergency. Once emergency vehicles are stationary and the workers are outside their vehicles (this includes police, fire fighters, EMTs, paramedics, and tow truck drivers in Alberta), they are dangerously exposed to the traffic still driving by the scene. Continue reading




I Have Been Pulled Over by the Police. Now What?

pulled over by the policeYou are driving along and see those dreaded flashing police lights in your rearview mirror. Maybe you know why you’re being pulled over, and maybe you don’t. Regardless, panic sets in. What should you do? Here are a few tips to make an interaction with the police less tense and more successful.

 

 

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How You Can Fix a Phantom Traffic Jam

phantom traffic jam preventionYou know the traffic jam. It’s the one where you’re sailing along the open road on a Sunday afternoon, when you suddenly encounter a long line of traffic shuddering along at 10km/hr. You slam on the brakes, as do all the drivers behind you, and then all of you inch along for a while before picking up speed again. There is no accident or construction in sight. There aren’t even any rain clouds! What the heck happened?

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Honking Etiquette: When Should You Use Your Horn?

hooking etiquetteCar Horns. They give you a voice when you have something important to say, but you are inside a vehicle where no one except your dog can hear you. Horns should only be used in specific scenarios. Here is a short crash course on some helpful messages you can relay using your horn, as well as the unhelpful messages that at best, make you “one of those people” on the road, and at worst, compromise someone else’s safety. Continue reading




What Should You Do If You’re in a Minor Collision?

dos and donts of accidentsIf you find yourself in a fender bender, whether or not it was your fault, what should you do next? Because of the nature of insurance and police reports, there are some things you should do at the sight of the collision, and some things you should avoid. Here are a few things to keep in mind, should you ever find yourself in this situation.

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Toronto Police are No Longer Responding to Minor Collisions

minor collision ontario Toronto police have recently changed the way they are responding to traffic collisions. In the last year alone, they arrived at the scene of approximately 64,000 traffic accidents within the city limits, which is an increase of 6,000 from two years previously. About 70% of these calls were for minor fender benders, and did not require police presence.

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Commercial Truck Driving Tips and Pitfalls to Avoid

Commercial VehicleIf you operate commercial vehicles in Ontario, you are subject to the rules of Ontario’s Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR) system and the Carrier Safety Rating (CSR) Program. These systems are in place to maintain the safety of Ontario’s roads by rating and inspecting commercial vehicles and drivers. As an operator, there many aspects of your CVOR rating you need to be aware of. The following information is good to know in general, but especially useful if you find yourself charged with a traffic infraction or offence.

What constitutes a commercial vehicle? 
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HOV Lanes and the Pam Am Games

Three or more persons lane sign

HOV lane chaos in Ontario! Yes we get it, people are very upset that the province of Ontario has temporary amended the rules on High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes for the 2015 Pan Am games, set to kick off on July 7, 2015.  And in the lead up to the games, we agree, it must be super frustrating sitting in traffic watching a completely free lane go unused! However, Ontario drivers have been getting dinged hard in the past few days, as the OPP cracks down on HOV lane violations. To best arm you this Pan Am season, here are the facts about HOV lanes in Ontario: 

 

Temporary HOV lanes will be open to:

  • accredited Games vehicles used to transport athletes, media, technical officials etc.
  • motor vehicles with 3+ occupants (from June 29 – July 27)
  • motor vehicles with 2+ occupants (from July 28 – August 18)
  • emergency vehicles
  • public transit
  • licensed taxis
  • airport limousines (on provincial highways only)
  • electric vehicles with green licence plates (on provincial highways only)
  • motorcycles (on City of Toronto roads only – Don Valley Parkway, Gardiner, Lake Shore Blvd.)
  • Temporary HOV lanes will operate from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and will be clearly marked with signs and pavement markings. source: http://bit.ly/1RSkcfk

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6 Essential Spring Driving Safety Tips

Here are 6 easy to forget driving safety tips for motorists to consider as they head out this spring:

1. Mind the Bikes!
As the weather warms this naturally brings out more motorcyclists and cyclists than in the winter months. Every motorist must ensure they have proper vision techniques and that they stay focused on the other vehicles around them. Looking out for and respecting two-wheeled travellers is an important part of safe motoring. Be especially careful when turning and opening the door of your parked vehicle before exiting it.

2. Warmer Weather Can Still be Hazardous
Realize that a wet road can be just as slippery as an icy one. Cars travelling at high speeds can hydroplane and lose contact with the road, which is as dangerous as hitting ice. Spring precipitation can also cause oil and gas run off from vehicles to rise to the top of the water surface, increasing the risk factor. For additional safety, drive in the middle lane, as water tends to pool in the outer lanes.

3. Leave a Little Extra Space
Staying farther back from the vehicle in front of you will reduce the probability of being rear ended or hit by kicked-up rocks in front of you. Increasing the distance between you and the vehicle you’re following in the rain is critical. Three seconds is generally considered a safe distance in normal circumstances. During a storm, increase this to eight seconds. The three-second rule is a simple way to double-check that you are driving at a safe following distance. Choose a fixed point (like a road sign or marker) that is even with the car in front of you. If you reach that same fixed point before you can count to three, then you’re driving too close to the car in front of you and you need to fall back a bit.

4. Keep Your Head on a Swivel
Spring is national Pothole Season in Canada. This is the time of year when drivers can experience wide fluctuations in road temperatures and freeze and thaw cycles. This combination causes potholes to form. In those places that snow and ice have dominated the winter months, the spring thaw can cause dangerous potholes. Avoid these at all costs however check your blind spots! If hitting a pothole is unavoidable, don’t simply slam on the brakes while traveling over them. Slow down, release the brake before impact and go over the pothole. Braking causes your tire to slam into the edge of the pothole with more force than if you were to roll over the hole.

5. Don’t Forget Your Shades at Home
The shift in daylight’s saving time may mean that you’re now driving to or from work while the sun is rising or setting. Make sure you have a good a pair of sunglasses in the car and avoid getting blinded by the light.

6. Check Wiper Blades
This winter’s worth of snow, ice and salt has likely put a good beat down on your vehicle’s wipers. We would highly suggest replacing these. Also, ensure that your windshield and other car windows are cleaned with a proper window washer to improve wiper performance.