Category: Uncategorized

Hate Bike Lanes? Confused about How to Drive near Cyclists? Read this.

A photo of a cyclist wearing a reflective vest and helmet as he goes down a bike lane.

Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on Calgary streets as you do driving your car or truck. That’s the way it’s always been. Today, the big difference is there are a lot more bicycles on Calgary’s streets and their numbers are rising which can make it frustrating for motorists. What’s more, the city is encouraging them by painting special bike lanes on Calgary’s streets.

So, what to do? There is only one solution: share and share alike.

Okay, so you wish someone would inform the bikers of their obligations; but that job is for someone in the peddling community.

Drivers need to be specially conscious of their rights and obligations because their vehicles are a lot bigger and faster than bicycles and if bang comes to boom they are most likely to be the one standing in front of the judge.

A city spokesman has laid out the following rules: Cars and trucks must stay out of bike lanes when there is a solid line designating the lane. At corners where drivers may make a right hand turn crossing the lane the solid lines become dashes allowing them to cross the lane. However, it’s still the bikers lane and you must first shoulder check to ensure no one is peddling up on your right. If bikes are in the lane you must yield to them before you cross.

Bikes are so much slower than motorized vehicles that this can be very frustrating, particularly if you are behind other cars also waiting for the lane to clear. That’s the way it is, though, so it’s best to be prepared. First suggestion: get a map and find out where the bike lane streets are and avoid them, especially during high traffic times. When you find yourself on such a street try to plan your right hand turns or, better yet, work out a way to get where you’re going using a left hand turn. This is only practicable on one way streets, however.

When there are no designated bike lanes they are supposed to peddle in the regular lanes with the cars and trucks, but nobody really wants them to do this. Drivers hate it when bikers peddle along between lanes and it’s particularly infuriating when traffic is backed up. Designated bike lanes should reduce this especially if police ticket bicycling offenders.
So, there it is. Bicycles are here to stay so get used to them. Remember instructors at Derek Brown’s Driving Academy know all the ins and outs of driving Calgary’s busy streets. Its defensive driving course shows you how to operate you vehicle safely at all times, including how to avoid bicycles.

Want to drive more safely on Calgary roads?  Take our defensive driving class.

How to Drive a Truck

Driving a truck is a lot of work but it can seem more free and fun than an office or other job. Here’s a video from youtube about how to drive a truck.

If this looks like something you might want to do for a career contact Derek Brown’s Driving Academy, a Calgary Truck Driving School.

We’re also proud to offer a PDIC (Professional Driver Improvement Course) both in-person and online. This course is geared towards professional truck drivers and offers invaluable lessons for how to maintain best practices as a professional truck driver.

And just for fun, here’s a funny video about driving a truck.

What to do After a Car Accident.

Most of us have heard the crunch, felt the jolt and had the sinking feeling after being in an accident. Car accidents can be terrible, life changing incidents. Even when they are not, they are still a shock to the system and a nuisance to deal with. What can you do to make your life easier after an accident?

1. First and foremost and under all circumstances, STOP after being in an accident. It is Canadian law and it is a very serious offense to drive away. Leaving the scene of an accident will only make the problem worse in the long run.

2. Call the police. It’s important to report accidents to the police if anyone in the accident sustains injuries or the damages are north of $1000. It’s important to be safe while doing this, so pull over to a safe location before calling the police or exiting the vehicle. Generally, if you aren’t sure whether to call the police or not, it’s best to call. Better safe than sorry.

3. Try to find a calm place. Car accidents aren’t fun and they can cause a lot of emotions. If no one has been injured, try to take a step back and realize it’s just stuff. Yes, very important stuff, but just stuff none the less. Keeping yourself in a good mental place will help you deal with the other driver and probably save you headaches in the long run.

4. Info Exchange. Be sure to exchange insurance information and all other applicable information to the accident down and exchange it with the police officer. If you have trouble exchanging information for whatever reason, wait for or call the police if you haven’t already.

5. Document the accident with pictures. This is important because it creates actual images of what happened rather than just witness accounts. I know this seems obvious, but it’s a very important part of the process.

6. Call your insurance company. The law says you must report it within a reasonable amount of time. Which, with most insurance companies is about a week. But you should probably call them right away if the accident is at all serious.

Thanks for reading! Derek Brown’s Driving Academy is Calgary’s premium driving school, if you are looking for a Calgary driving simulator Derek Brown’s is your place!

The Good Advice Urinal

Michigan is trying a new approach to curbing drunk driving in the State. They are installing 400 talking urinal cakes around the State that will tell men not to drink and drive. The company that developed them is called Wizmark Industries and they are the “leaders in interactive urinal cake technology.” Impressive.

I’m not sure of how effective this new technology will be. First of all, there is very little evidence that urinal cake shaming works. None at all, in fact. Secondly, it’s message won’t be heard by an entire gender.

Here’s the article on it:

Derek Brown’s Driving Academy is a leader in Calgary Driver’s Education, and a leader in Calgary Trucking Education. Thanks for reading!

Why Driving Lessons are a Good Idea, Especially if You Own a Lamborghini

Here’s a video gone viral of someone who could have benefitted big time with a beginner’s driving course and some in car lessons. Don’t wait. Don’t hesitate. Call Derek Brown’s Driving Academy today. Save yourself from accidents, higher insurance, and possibly the embarrassment of seeing yourself in an accident on youtube.

Drunk Driving Still Popular

In the United States in 2008, 9% of drivers admitted to driving while over the legal limit in the past month. Drunk driving is still very common. That’s a very high number. Why is it so high? I think there are a variety of reasons.

The first reason is that I think people aren’t prepared to sacrifice a good time in favor of safety. If there is no easy and cheap public transportation, taxi, or other transportation service, people will drive rather than go through an inconvenient and lengthy process of getting a ride after a night at the bar. In a lot of cities, public transportation feels dangerous at night. Walking at night is dangerous in a lot of places as well, especially for women. I think having a cheap, reliable and safe public transportation system will help any city combat drunk driving.

Another problem is people misunderstand the affects of alcohol on their system. They feel that since they have a tolerance, they can drive just as well drunk as sober. This is not the case. Reaction times are still decreased, making accidents easier and driving more dangerous. Education is needed in this area to help people understand why driving while intoxicated is not OK.

A certain segment of the population will always drink and drive, because they feel entitled to it. So there may be a point where the number cannot be lowered any further. But I think that number can go down a great deal from 9%.

Here is the source for the story:

For all your Calgary Driving Courses needs, check out Derek Brown’s!

Thanks for reading!

Most Dangerous (but cool) Trucking Jobs

Trucking can be dangerous. Especially if you are trucking in extraordinary circumstances or with hazardous goods. We found an interesting article on the most dangerous trucking jobs and thought it would be good to share:

The article talks about ice road truckers, which I think a lot of us will be familiar with because of the television show on the History Channel about it. But there’s also truckers who take on the La Paz to Coroico Highway in Bolivia which claims 300 people a year. Here’s a short video:

The article also talks about truckers taking oversized loads, like houses! I can’t imagine how difficult and annoying of a trip that would be for the driver.

Take care of all your Calgary Trucking School  and Professional Driver Improvement Course (PDIC) needs at Derek Brown’s Academy of Driving!

Why is speeding dangerous?

For a lot of drivers, it is not intuitive why speeding is dangerous. They feel that they can be just as safe driving above the posted speed limit signs. Unfortunately, the statistics say otherwise.

Transport Canada published a report in June 2008 with detailed information about why speeding is dangerous. Two of the most sobering statistics from the report are:

In 2002-2004, more than 700 people were killed and more than 3,500 were seriously injured annually in speed-related crashes.

Speeding is a factor in about 25% of deaths from vehicle crashes.

Transport Canada reasons that speed limits are the limits for a reason, to go faster on those roads is unsafe. They go onto say drivers focus too much on the thrill of speeding and ignore the risks. I think it’s important to remember that there are plenty of ways to get your thrills in this world, from roller coasters to skydiving that don’t involve as much risk to yourself or others. Even if the thrill involves more risk to you, you aren’t risking the lives of innocents.

The report continues on to say that speeding accounts for about the same number of deaths as drunk driving. So keep that in mind next time you feel the need for speed.

That’s all for this blog. I might go over some more stuff from this report in a later blog. Thanks for reading!

Learn how to get where you’re going with Derek Brown’s Academy of Driving, a Calgary Driving school

Ten Worst Driving Cities

MSN Canada has made a list of the ten worst cities to drive in. The list is as follows

10. Manila, Philipines
9. Toronto, Canada
8. Seoul, South Korea
7. Orlando, Florida
6. Beijing, China
5. Paris, France
4. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
3. Athens, Greece
2. Mumbai, India
1. Rome, Italy

I’ve only been to Paris out of all these cities, but I can tell you that driving would be too much for me there. It’s interesting to me how nonchalant people are about driving. It seems obvious to me how dangerous vehicles are. I guess it is not obvious to everyone.

Derek Brown’s Driving Academy, a Calgary Driving school, and a Calgary Trucking school, will help you remain safe on the road.

What do you think the worst city to drive in is? Reply in the comments!

Repetitive Driving Injury

There is a newish syndrome out there that comes from driving too much. No, it’s not road rage, although that might be considered a medical condition at some point too. It’s a repetitive driving injury. Just like getting carpal tunnel syndrome from typing too much on a computer, people who drive all the time can develop long-term muscle, joint and spinal injuries. Most of the injuries develop from people not adjusting their seat properly. Learn how to prevent a repetitive driving injury.

A study done by found that drivers suffer from all sorts of injuries and do so after driving for only a short period of time. 81% of drivers suffer from foot cramps, 74% have back pain, another 74% have stiff neck problems, 74% get side aches, and 73% get headaches and eye strains. It takes 6.5% of drivers only 15 minutes for this injuries to flare up, while for 9% it’s around 30 minutes.

There are different driving positions that the study says contribute to backpain.

Drivers who lean forward and sit straight up with the arms and legs bent. While this is good for attentiveness, it is not good for your back. Relax your back and recline the seat slightly to correct his problem.

Another common mistake is trying to pay attention too many things on the road like your phone, your food, your makeup, or anything else that keeps you constantly moving around. It’s best to just relax and keep your eyes on the road. Sit a little back in your seat and keep both hands on the wheel as much as possible.

A lot of people sit too low in their seat, causing inattentiveness and arm and leg pain because their limbs can never relax. Try moving the seat up and up slightly to fix this problem. It’s good to find a balance between too close and too far, too reclined and not reclined enough.

Calgary Driving School, Derek Brown’s Driving Academy, can help you develop good driving habits through training.

Thanks for reading!