Vehicle Safety

What Not To Do To Your Car in Winter

By amber.

5 Car Hacks You Should Avoid in Winter

Frozen Car

1. Don't use hot water to defrost your windshield! 

A windshield that's frozen over can crack if hot water is used to de-ice it. For that matter, any window or rubber seal that's frozen could crack and break. Instead, turn your car on and use its heating system to slowly melt any ice and snow. Alternatively, you can simply cover your car with an inexpensive tarp when parking it outside overnight. If you can't get into your car, and you left it uncovered, use lukewarm/cool water to de-ice your windshield without the risk of cracking it.

2. Don't leave your wiper blades raised!

Wind can easily snap your wiper blades down on your windshield hard, causing it to crack! It's much better to leave them in their normal position and stop them icing over in the first place. You can wrap each blade and arm in a plastic bag, or simply put a tarp over the top of your car. If you didn't cover your car, and ice has formed around your windshield wipers and the bottom of your windshield, you can use lukewarm/cool water to start de-icing it. Make sure to clear out any debris from around the base of the blades and windshield using a brush or your hand.  

3. Don't charge a cold, dead battery with high voltage! 

Charging a dead battery in cold weather with high voltage, such as from revving a large engine or the full-power setting on your battery charger, can damage the cells and connectors. The power from a running smaller vehicle might also be too much. Instead, charge your battery with a medium or low setting battery charger for a few hours or bring it to an autobody or mechanic shop if you don't have one. If your battery is frozen, bring it into a warm place to defrost before attempting to charge it. Any bulging of the battery casing indicates that the liquid electrolyte has frozen and the battery mostly likely needs to be replaced.

4. Don't use a lighter to unfreeze frozen windows, locks and doors!

Using a lighter can damage newer keys that have sensors and other electronics embedded in them. Not to mention it's just impractical and dangerous to use a lighter for unfreeze anything else! It's much better to used a blow dryer, lukewarm/cool water or de-icing fluid if your car has frozen over. A trick to unstick a car door is to push against it to break the seal, chip away at any remaining ice and use lukewarm/cool water to melt it. If your locks are frozen, try a spray lubricant, a de-icing spray and a hair dryer. For frozen windows, the same techniques will work. To prevent these things from freezing in the first place, put garbage bags between the doors and the frame, and cover your car with a tarp.

5. Don't use your wiper blades to remove snow and ice from your windshield!

The arms of wiper blades are delicate, easily broken and very costly to replace. To prevent any damage, make sure your windshield wipers are turned off as you park your car. Use a proper brush and scraper to remove ice and snow from the windshield, or any of the techniques above, instead of your wiper blades. Be careful to avoid the windshield washer jets with the brush/snow scraper, as these little jets are easily damaged.

Winter 2018 Driver Safety Tips

By amber.

6537752463 Ca5dfbe333 ZTop 10 Winter Driving Safety Tips

Winter driving can be a pleasant experience if you prepare for it correctly. The condition of your car, the condition of road surfaces, and the weather matter a lot.

With so many things to consider, we've compiled a list of the top 10 ways to winterize your vehicle and stay safe on the road!

1. Winterize Your Car: Is your car prepared for winter driving? Check the condition of your tires, mirrors, battery and windshield, and make sure the heating systems in your car are functioning properly. If your car is stored outside, clear all debris such as leaves, *snow and *ice from your mirrors, windshield and roof.
*Ice and compacted snow can fly off the roof of your vehicle as you drive, and pose a serious danger to other road users. 

2. Know Your Limits: Do you know how your vehicle will behave on slippery, icy roadways? Jerking the steering wheel and braking hard will cause you to lose control and start sliding around when the road is slippery or covered with snow. Driving in a smooth, controlled manner is the best way to drive safely.

3. Leave Enough Distance: Poor road conditions will affect the stopping distance of your vehicle, so leave enough room and don't tailgate! Remember, it's almost impossible to see black ice until you're on top of it. 

4. Reduce Your Speed: You can't drive in winter weather the same as you would in normal conditions. *Most people drive too fast, so travel at speeds that you feel comfortable with. Don't feel pressured into going faster or even meeting the speed limit if the conditions don't allow it.
*If you are found to be driving unsafely and too fast for the conditions of the road, you can get a ticket!

5. Learn How To Skid: Prepare by learning how to control your vehicle in a skid. Is your car front-wheel, rear-wheel or four-wheel drive? This will change how your vehicle behaves when sliding. To control a skid, turn into it so that the weight of your vehicle shifts from the front to the rear. Another good tip is to slow down before making a turn.

6. Turn Your Lights On: In snowy conditions, it can be hard to see other vehicles on the road, so make yourself as visible as possible and turn on your lights (even during the day). Don't use your high beams, because they will decrease your visibility by causing glare. Instead, turn your fog lights on if your car has them, and use your low lights as well.

7. Turn Off Cruise Control: Driving with cruise control, your car might accelerate in a slippery or wet patch and hydroplane. Avoid this by not using it when the road is slick.

8. Don't Pump the Brakes: With ABS braking systems (most modern cars have them but check your manual if you're not sure), there is no need to 'pump' the brakes. ABS will let you steer while fully applying the brakes. For older vehicles without ABS, pumping the brakes while skidding will give you to more control of the car. If you're looking for a new car, your best option is one with ABS, VSC (vehicle stability control) or traction control. 

9. Pay Attention and Focus: Eliminate distractions while driving. Know what your next move will be and anticipate how your car will behave.

10. Plan Ahead: Check the weather, and bring appropriate supplies. Take a first aid kit, water, food, and survival blankets. Always keep booster cables, an ice scraper and snow brush, road flares, matches, and a charged cell phone on hand. Don't drive in poor weather conditions if you can help it.


What happens when lightning strikes a vehicle?

By amber.

Ever wonder what happens when lightning strikes a vehicle? 

Do you think it's safe to remain inside your car during a lightning storm, because your tires will insulate your car against electricity?

Click on the image below to find out just how safe modern vehicles are, and that your car tires actually DO NOT insulate your car!

vehicle during lightning strike

Self-driving cars at risk of getting hacked!

By amber.

Self-driving cars have been in the news a lot lately. 

There is one major drawback, however, that has yet to be fully explored: Cyber attacks. Insurers and car manufacturers are starting to factor this in, as hacking a is big risk. 

These cars are already predicted to appear on roads in North America by 2020, and they boast a wide range of state-of-the-art technology. Sensors, cameras, and even LiDAR (light detection and ranging) in these cars help them navigate obstacles, drive straight, and follow traffic signs. These very same technological advances in the self-driving cars systems' are exactly what make them so vulnerable to hackers. 

Read more about this intriguing issue at CTV News.

Killer Airbags - The Largest Auto Recall in the History of the USA

By amber.

CTV News is currently reporting on the largest car recall in the history of the USA.

6 deaths are associated with the defective airbags produced by Takata Corp., in addition to over 100 injuries.

The chemical used to deploy the airbag in the event of a collision causes an explosion which is too powerful for the hardware containing the airbag. The explosion causes the compartment and inflating mechanism to breakup into shrapnel and fly into the passenger side.

Around 33.8 million airbags have been declared defective by Takata. This adds 18 million airbags to existing recalls.

Click below to read more, and to check to see if your vehicle is among those being recalled.

Do not leave your keys in your car

By amber.

Think your fancy new car with its state-of-the-art, anti-theft technology will protect you from car thieves?

Well, it can... but only if you don't leave your keys in your car! Sure this technology is very advanced, but it can only do so much, and it sure ain't magic!

In the US alone, the majority of car thefts that took place in 2014 involved people leaving their keys in the car. And those statistics are just from the people who ADMITTED to police and their insurers that they left their keys in the car. What about all those others who were too ashamed to say they had as well?

Remember, even if you're just running to the store for a quick 3 minute errand, DO NOT leave your car unlocked and your keys in the car!

Otherwise, that's just an invitation for a massive headache!

The New Teen Driver Safety System

By amber.

Parents, having your teenager drive for the first time need no longer be such a worry.

General Motors is coming out with new technology geared towards teen drivers.

Their 'Teen Driver' system launched at the New York Auto Show, and 2016 Chevy Malibu's will go on the market with this built-in driving system.

The goal of this new technology is to encourage teens to develop safe driving habits by monitoring trips taken, and then producing a 'report card'. It will include information on maximum speeds, distances driven, and how many times safety systems were engaged during the drive.
The system will also include parental controls, allowing parents to set the maximum speed for the vehicle, which will set off alarms and visual warnings if exceeded.

Despite this useful step in driver safety technology, nothing beats teaching your kids how to drive safely and carefully. In fact, experts agree that basic skills should be acquired before beginning to rely on any technology.

You can learn more about this interesting topic here at CTV News!