Rush Hour - Blizzard on the Road and bad Visibility - all logo, company and car plate removed or modified.

Defensive Driving for Winter Weather

Some days, it seems like a lot of the drivers we share the road with are getting more and more, um, “unpredictable”.

From parking on sidewalks and stopping for pedestrians in the pedestrian crosswalk to weaving across lanes in high-speed traffic and any other example you can think of, it seems like we sometimes commute alongside some pretty erratic drivers.

And that’s not even taking the weather into account!

Bring in some cold and snowy weather, and these erratic drivers become even worse. What was an everyday danger on the road now becomes a true hazard. That driver up ahead who drifted into the middle of 2 lanes while looking at his phone? He’s now in an uncontrolled slide across your path, headed straight into the snow bank on your far right. You and every other vehicle near him are at risk of a serious collision. Continue reading “Defensive Driving for Winter Weather”

Six Winter Driving Tips

 

Use our winter driving tips on this snowy street in Calgary.

As Canadians, we like to think that we have winter driving mastered. But one look at the accident statistics after a fresh snowfall tells us otherwise. Even for those of us who have attended (or even operate) a driving school, Calgary roads can be treacherous after a fresh snowfall.

For example, this past Christmas Eve saw approx. 4cms (1.5 inches) of snow fall within a 12 hour period of time.[1] The result? Over 300 vehicular accidents throughout Southern Alberta.[2]

With this in mind, we at Derek Brown’s Academy of Driving thought it might be a good idea to write a blog post about driving safely in the winter.

Continue reading “Six Winter Driving Tips”

A Brief History of Seatbelts

The original seatbelt was invented in 1885 as a way to keep people being raised or lowered off the ground safe.  In 1911, Benjamin Fouilous attached one to his saddle while riding his horse.  If you’re thinking “that seems like it might backfire”, you may be right, but innovation has to start somewhere.  Things really picked up in the 1950s when Dr. Hunter Shelden helped create the retractable seatbelt.  This technology was debuted in cars by the Swedish company Saab.  I know, quite the Saab Story.

Continue reading “A Brief History of Seatbelts”

Seatbelt Use Around the World

seatbeltSeatbelt use is more popular in some countries than others.  It is hard to pin down the exact reasons for this difference.  Some people think the differences might have to do with education. Some people think different attitudes to safety or driving cause the issue. Some people think there is a difference in the number of seatbelts in vehicles that create the difference. A lack of education might be a good bet though.  It seems as though some people have assumptions about wearing seat belts that do not hold up to the facts.
One myth is that it isn’t necessary to wear a seatbelt if you are sitting in the back seat.  This is not true and a dangerous assumption according to the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  In fact, more people are injured who sit in the backseat for the sole reason that they are less likely to wear a seatbelt.  Countries like Japan and Italy see a significant drop off when comparing front seatbelt usage and backseat.  Japan’s drops from 98% to 68%, and Italy drops from 64% to 10%.   Canadians, on the other hand, should be proud! Canada and Germany are the countries who do best with seatbelt compliance.  In Canada, 92% wear their seatbelt in the front seat and 85% in the backseat.  In Germany, 94% of people wear seatbelts in the front seat, and 90% of the time in the backseat.


Maybe an education campaign about backseat seatbelt use would be helpful in the countries that have poor compliance.  Or maybe the law should step in and make it illegal to travel in a vehicle without a seatbelt.