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.

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Big City Driving Tips

Calgary is growing into a big city. With that comes busier, more congested, more stressful driving conditions that you need to be prepared for. Here are some tips for driving in a big city:

Constantly Be Alert!

One needs to be alert no matter when they are driving, but it is especially important when driving in very congested areas like downtown Calgary. Cars, bikes, and pedestrians can come out in front of you at any time. Always have your wits about you and never talk on your cell phone, eat, put on makeup or do any other activity that will distract you from driving.

Slow down!

Sometimes you’ll come into situations when driving in busy areas where you’ll feel pressure to complete driving tasks as quickly as possible. Drivers in cities put a lot of pressure on other drivers to make decisions quickly. However, it is best to make the correct decision slowly than a bad decision quickly. So if you are unsure of something on the road, slow down and make sure you get it right.


Be sure to always use your blinker, even when it seems obvious where you are turning. Communication with other drivers prevents accidents and you never know what information will be important to other drivers. It’s also very important to use your horn if someone is about to cut you off or drift into your lane. That’s what horns are for!

Learn to drive at Derek Brown’s Academy of Driving, a a quality Driving School in Calgary.

Truck drivers: Click here for our Professional Driver Improvement course (PDIC) 

Manual or Automatic?

When buying your new car, is it better to go with an automatic or manual transmission vehicle? There are certainly benefits and costs to both. Let’s look at which car is right for you.

Repair Costs
Repair costs are usually lower in manuals because they require less maintenance and usually cost less to fix when they do need repairs. Automatic transmissions, however, are getting better all the time, so, perhaps in a while, there will be no difference.

Fuel Costs
Manuals are more fuel efficient, but newer automatic transmissions are within 1-2 mpg of manuals, so the difference isn’t worth much.

Get up and Go! (Power)
Manual vehicles will usually be your best bet if you want a fast and powerful vehicle. This is where manuals shine in comparison to automatics. Automatic transmissions do not have the same acceleration capabilities as manual.

Where do you live?
City driving in heavy traffic is when automatics shine. There is nothing worse than having to shift every little bit while stuck in a long traffic jam. If you live in a big city with clogged roads, an automatic is probably your best bet.

So the question comes down to each individual. If you’re a power-loving person living in rural Alberta, a manual is probably best. If you only use your car for transportation and live in Calgary, an automatic might better suit your needs. Calgary Driving School and Derek Brown’s Academy of Driving offer lessons in both.

Driving as an art form?

Calgary, like most of North America, licenses are available at a young age, fundamentals are emphasized, and roads rules are clearly and extensively articulated and marked on the road. Calgary drivers schools teach both stick shift and automatic driving. Driving is seen as mostly a practical skill that anyone can attain.

In much of Europe however, the rules are more lax while the training is more extensive. There are also very few automatic cars to be found. They view driving more as an art form to be performed only by the more skilled.

Check out this video of the roundabout at the Arc du Triumph in Paris:

Do you prefer the North American or the European way of driving?

Don’t Forget to Shoulder Check

At our Calgary Driving School, Derek Brown’s Academy of Driving, we help you learn and practice all the essential skills and habits for safe driving.  One habit that will help you pass your driving test and drive safely the rest of your driving life, is to shoulder check.  While looking in a mirror is important too, there’s a blind spot that often can’t be seen in the rear or side mirrors. Taking a couple of seconds to turn your head will help you avoid a costly accident every time you get behind the wheel.

Just yesterday, I was driving slowly because of the icy conditions of downtown Calgary in December.  A yellow SUV was driving in the right lane next to me, when all of the sudden, it came into my lane.  Luckily, I was able to swerve and put on the brakes enough to not be hit!  I did tap my horn to let the driver know she almost caused an accident.  Maybe next time she’ll do a shoulder check.

Our Calgary Driving School will help you develop good driving habits.

Remember if you’re looking for a Calgary Driving School, a Derek Brown’s Academy of Driving course can help you learn to drive safely and avoid accidents, and, of course, pass your driving tests.