We probably shouldn’t tell you this, but there are no laws in Canada against driving in high heels. However, you should know that, if high heels are the cause of you losing control of your vehicle, they may be a contributing factor to charges of careless driving.
But you’ll never be charged with “driving in high heels” – at least under current legislation. While we’re on the subject, it’s also a myth that you can’t drive barefoot or in flip flops.
But that doesn’t make any of them a good idea.
3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Drive in High Heels
Almost to a person, professional driving instructors will tell you that thin rubber-soled shoes, not too stiff and not too flexible, with a proper fit, a closed toe and without a raised heel, are the best shoes for driving.
If you’re looking for the first clue about why you shouldn’t drive in heels, it is that high-heeled shoes are about as far as you can get from the perfect footwear for driving.
While many female drivers will swear they can drive at least as well when they wear heels as when they don’t, they’ve probably only driven in heels under normal driving conditions. But the basic reason why you shouldn’t wear high heels is that they reduce your ability to control the vehicle in an emergency situation. Here’s why that happens.
- Lack of Pedal Grip – The sole of high-heeled shoes do not offer the kind of pedal grip needed if you need to slam on the brake pedal, or the accelerator, to get out of an emergency. When your foot moves quickly in response to the emergency, your foot’s contact with the pedals may not be solid, and it may slip off.
- Unstable Anchor Point – When your foot is off any pedal in high heels, the only thing connecting it to the floor of the vehicle is the tip of the heel. In many emergency maneuvers, the vehicle may need to swerve to avoid a collision. The sudden shift in direction can destabilize your foot, making solid peal contact difficult or impossible.
- Can Get Caught in the Floor Mat – While the floor mat can get in the way at the best of times, a high heel can get stuck to an extent that will reduce your ability to enact pedal responses when you need to make an emergency move.
If none of those reasons convince you to never drive in high heels, perhaps this one will. It’s bad for the shoe. Not only do you put lots of pressure on the heel, at an angle it wasn’t designed to tolerate, but you can scuff the back of the heel.
Find out more about what bad driving habits might cost you in our post “What is the Penalty for Dangerous Driving?”.
In addition to their costs, owning and maintaining a car or truck takes a lot of your time too. And, if you feel your vehicle uses up too much of your time, you might wonder if you can drive with winter tires all year round. That way, you could at least avoid the twice-yearly visit to the service centre just to get your winter tires swapped out for your summer tires or all-season tires.
3 Reasons Why You Should Never Drive with Your Winter Tires Year-Round
Yes, you read that clearly. We said “never” and we said it because it’s a matter of the personal safety of you and your passengers.
- They Don’t Grip As Well – This might sound counterintuitive. Winter tires are designed for grip, aren’t they? But they are designed for grip in far colder temperatures and different road conditions than those we get in a Canadian summer. Winter tires are made from a different rubber compound and tread pattern than summer tires. In summer, the rubber compound on winter tires becomes very pliable, which can increase slippage. And the wider tread patterns mean less rubber on the road.
- They Don’t Stop Your Car as Quickly – In addition to increased pliability, which can promote skidding, a winter tire’s tread blocks suffer more degradation under braking. This includes literally dissolving, which makes their surface more slippery. Or they can start to marble as small bits of rubber break off, which also creates a slippery effect under the tires. In tests, winter tires require 15% more stopping distance on average versus summer tires when coming to a stop from 100 km/h, under dry, summer conditions. And that increases your chance of minor collisions.
- It Is More Difficult to Control Your Car – That 15% number also applies to how much less steering precision you have when you drive with winter tires in summer conditions.
Less grip, longer stopping distances and more difficult controls also increase your chances of a careless driving ticket if you are found at fault in a collision that could have been avoided with summer tires.
If you enjoyed this post, check out our recent article “What to Do if You get caught in a Speed Trap”.
Its that time of year when drivers across Canada have the “winter tires vs all-season tires” debate.
The Two Sides Of The Debate
On the winter tires side, there really isn’t a debate. The winner is clear. Winter tires provide better traction to start moving, and stop, while driving on snow and ice. Consumer Reports testing found that, on average, winter tires will stop a car almost two metres shorter than all-season tires.
There are three main ways in which winter tires are designed better than all-seasons for driving on ice, snow and slush.
- Tread Patterns & Depth – Snow tires feature deeper and wider tread patterns that are designed to minimize snow build-up in the treads, and to channel away snow, slush and water. They also have biting edges, or tiny slits, on the side of the tread for added ice and snow traction.
- Rubber Compounds – Winter tires are made of softer rubber compounds that give them better grip in colder temperatures.
- Tire Widths – Winter tires are generally narrower than all-seasons so they don’t “float” on top of snow and ice.
Interestingly, many all-season tires proponents concede that winter tires are better for driving in winter conditions. Their argument is that, depending on where you live, winter’s snow and icy conditions only happen a few times a year and that the winter performance characteristics of all-seasons are enough to get them through those few times.
When All-Season Tires Won’t Cut It
But there’s one scenario where all-season tires can have dire consequences when used in winter conditions. If we take that average difference in stopping distance of almost two metres, and apply it to the case of young drivers tackling their first winters with little or no winter driving experience, the consequences of not using winter tires can be catastrophic.
If you found this article helpful, check out our recent post about how long demerit points stay on your driving record.
If you’ve received a stunt driving first offence, Ontario laws and penalties can be quite strict and severe. For example, if a police officer stops you for exceeding the speed limit by 50 km or more (the most common offence that’s classified as stunt driving), You will get a drivers licence suspension for seven days and your vehicle will be impounded for seven days – even if you were never convicted of stunt driving or racing in the past.
If you are convicted, you can face fines of up to $10,000, get six demerit points, or be sentenced to a maximum of six months in jail. On top of that, the conviction can have a lasting effect on your life, including a license suspension of up to 10 years and increased insurance premiums.
The seriousness of being charged with stunt driving means you should learn as much as you can about the offence to minimize the impact of a conviction.
4 Things to Know if You Got a First Offence Stunt Driving in Ontario
There are lots of myths about what is considered stunt driving and the implications of receiving a stunt driving ticket.
- You Should Get Legal Advice – Again, due to its gravity, the most important step you can take if you are charged with stunt driving is to get legal advice and representation in court from lawyers and experts well-versed in how to fight a stunt driving ticket.
- It’s Not Just for Speeding – While exceeding the speed limit by 50 km or more is the most common reason for a stunt driving ticket, the Ontario Highway Traffic Act outlines many more, including:
- Doing burnouts, drifts or donuts
- Driving while you’re not in the driver’s seat, or with someone in the trunk
- Jumping the green light at an intersection to make a left turn before oncoming traffic begins to move.
- The Costs of Getting a Ticket Are All Yours – If you are stopped and given a traffic ticket for stunt driving, the consequences are all your responsibility, including the financial ones.
- If your license is suspended and/or vehicle impounded, you must find and pay for your own transportation (police officers are only obligated to take you to a safe place).
- You are responsible for the costs of towing your vehicle to the impoundment lot and the cost of storage for the duration of the impoundment.
- You must pay a $180 fee to get your driver’s license reinstated.
- You Will Likely need to Make More Than One Court Appearance – When you get the ticket, you will also get a summons to appear in court. You or your licensed legal representative must appear in court or face a bench summons for your arrest. If you do not intend to plead guilty at that first court appearance, another court date will be set for your trial.
If you’ve been charged with stunt driving, make sure to get the right legal team to fight for you. Our team at X-Copper is ready to fight your stunt driving offence to get you the best possible result. Contact us today to get our team behind you.
If you found this post helpful, check out our recent article about how long a speeding ticket stays on your record in Ontario.
You may have heard differently, but Ontarians have never been able to refuse a breathalyzer without facing a consequence of one form or another.
What Happens When You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?
The reasons for confusion around whether or not you can refuse to comply with a breath sample request includes the laws as they were up until late last year. Before new laws came into effect last December, police needed to have reasonable suspicion of impaired driving before demanding a roadside breath test.
Today, police no longer need to have reasonable suspicion to demand an on-the-spot roadside breath test. And refusing a breathalyzer can result in criminal charges similar to those of being convicted of a DUI charge.
What Are the Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer?
The government was forced to eliminate the need for reasonable suspicion because studies showed that up to 50% of impaired drivers were not being detected by police officers at roadside stops.
In Ireland, authorities credit mandatory roadside breathalyzer tests with a 40% reduction in the number of road deaths due to impaired driving.
Here are just some of the minimum penalties a driver can face for a first-time conviction for refusing a breathalyzer. You can also face these penalties for refusing to give a breath sample at a police station, mobile police station and/or hospital.
- Drivers license suspension for one year.
- Pay a fine of $1,000 or more
- Mandatory participation in a Provincial counselling program at your own expense
- Installation of an ignition interlock system, also at your own expense, for one year
If you found this post helpful, check out our recent article about the law for drinking and boating.
One of the first things that people charged with credit card fraud don’t realize is how seriously the Crown treats the charges against them. Victims of credit card fraud can face serious, long-term consequences. These can include low credit report scores that can affect their ability to buy a home, a car or start a business. So federal laws are particularly severe in an effort to prevent more people from becoming victims.
What to Know if You’re Charged with Credit Card Fraud
In addition to stiffer penalties, anyone charged with using stolen credit card information can face a number of other consequences they may not be prepared for.
- Who Can Be Found Guilty – The Criminal Code of Canada says that anyone who steals a credit card, forges or falsifies a credit card or knowingly possesses, uses or traffics an unauthorized credit card, or credit card number, can be found guilty of an offence. This can even include using your own credit card number, knowing that it has expired, been revoked or cancelled.
- You May Be Charged with More than One Offence – The offence(s) you can be charged with include credit card theft and trafficking credit card data.
- You Don’t Need to Steal or Possess a Stolen Card to Be Guilty – If you possess, use or traffic credit card account data, or other personal data of a victim that can be used to illegally get credit cards or other credit card data, you can still be found guilty of credit card fraud charges. That data includes illegally possessing a credit card account number and expiration date.
- You Don’t Need to Use a Credit Card or Credit Card Data to Be Found Guilty – You can be found guilty of credit card fraud merely by illegally possessing personal information from a credit card, even if you don’t make any unauthorized transactions.
If you found this article helpful, check out our recent post about how long a speeding ticket stays on your record in Ontario.
There’s no feeling quite like it. The combination of nervousness and fear you suddenly get when a police officer appears in front of you motioning you to pull over, or when you see the cruiser lights go on behind you. A million things flash through your mind. What did I do? Are they going to arrest me? And, the big one: will I get any demerit points that’ll make my insurance rates go up?
While it’s common to feel some anxiety when you’re pulled over for any reason, it shouldn’t just be about the number of demerit points you might get.
Demerit Points & Why They Shouldn’t Be Your Biggest Concern
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation uses a demerit points system to penalize severe and/or repeated traffic violations. Here are a few demerit point’s facts.
- You don’t lose demerit points. You start with zero and they are added to your driving record for some traffic violations.
- They stay on your record for two years from the date of the offence.
- You can get points for traffic convictions in other provinces and territories.
- Penalties range from receiving a warning letter for two to eight points, to a driver’s license suspension of 30 days for 15 or more points.
Why Convictions Matter Most to Insurance Companies
There’s a misconception that you should be most concerned about your demerit points when you get a ticket. While points may affect your insurance rates, they are impacted more by the number and/or severity of the convictions. Here’s how:
- The Number of Traffic Tickets & Infractions
Tickets and infractions are a sign to insurance companies of increased risk to re-offend. The more you have, regardless of demerit points, the higher the risk you represent to insurers. And the higher your insurance rates will go.
- The Severity of the Conviction
Generally, insurance companies have three categories for convictions: minor, major and serious. Minor convictions include making an improper right turn (two points) or disobeying a stop sign or railway crossing signal (three points). Major convictions include exceeding the speed limit by 50km/hour or more (six points).
You might accumulate six points from a series of minor convictions, but the major conviction of exceeding the speed limit by 50km/hour or more will likely have a greater impact on your insurance rates.
If you enjoyed this post, check out our recent article “5 Ways to Be a More Defensive Driver”.
Many of us don’t think about having a car emergency kit. It’s one of those things we don’t need until one dark evening when we find ourselves stranded on the side of an empty road. Especially in Canada, where it is not unusual to end up in a bad situation in the dead of winter, it’s good to have a kit passively in the trunk that you have on hand should you need it.
The very first car-related fatality occurred in London in 1896. Since then, millions of people around the world have died on the road, for a variety of different reasons. Although statistics vary widely from place to place, some factors remain consistent worldwide. Here are six common causes of car accidents:
You’re driving to a friend’s house. Your phone is in your bag on the passenger seat. While waiting at a red light, you hear the unmistakable sound of a text message and see the screen’s light shining up at you invitingly. The light is still red, and you might have time to read it. You reach over and grab the phone. It’s your friend asking if you’re bringing your partner. You’re not, and you feel the need to reply. Now the light is green, so you cradle the phone in one hand and steer with the other, typing as many characters as you can between quick glances at the road. Your mind is trying to both answer and drive, and meanwhile, you’re spelling everything wrong and getting frustrated. Continue reading