Category Archives: Safe

Sharing the Road

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Everyone is on the go nowadays. We all have important places to be that we should have arrived at ten minutes ago, so it’s understandable that we get frustrated in traffic. However, for some, simple etiquette and courtesy have long since been forgotten. We’ve rounded up some great tips to help you fall in love with driving again (yes, even on Deerfoot Trail) and to make your commutes safer and less stressful.

  1. Don’t tailgate!

    In theory, everyone knows to maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. But in reality, some of us like to be a little too close for comfort. Inching your way closer to the vehicle ahead will not, surprisingly, make them move any faster. And furthermore, tailgating is dangerous. Following too close to someone can make it difficult for you to see what’s in front of their vehicle―and if they have to stop suddenly, it’ll be your vehicle that’ll be bumping into them if you can’t brake in time. By following the 3 second rule you can help maintain your vehicle’s exterior, as your front end will not be sprayed with rocks and debris from the car ahead.

  2. Signal, signal, signal!

    Believe it or not, but not all of us are mind-readers. Giving other drivers a heads up on what you’re about to do is welcome, if not encouraged. Using your turn signals to indicate where you’re going is such an easy way to avoid an accident!

  3. Give a wave!

    We were raised to say “please” and “thank you” but many of us somehow forget those manners upon getting into our vehicles. So when someone does something nice for you on the road―like letting you to merge ahead of them, etc.―say “thank you” by giving them a wave. Such a simple gesture can improve that person’s mood significantly and who doesn’t love sharing a bit more love?

  4. But don’t be overly polite…

    You’re a nice person and you want to help everyone, right? But by letting ten cars in ahead of you doesn’t actually help anyone. Instead, follow the zipper-merging method. Let one car in, drive on and then the person behind you will let the next vehicle in. Think of it as a zipper on a jacket―in order for it function properly, the teeth must alternate to allow everyone to fit perfectly.

  5. Turn off your brights!

    High beams are essential for late night drives, but are a hazard for oncoming traffic. They can be blinding to other drivers so remember to turn them off temporarily as oncoming traffic pass by.

  6. Parking peeves!

    Stealing is stealing, whether it’s an apple or a parking spot. It’s the worst feeling, waiting patiently for a parking spot to become available, only to have someone else steal it. And speaking of parking, don’t take up two parking spaces! If you have a larger vehicle, park at the back of the lot to allow more vehicles to park up front.

  7. Don’t litter!

    Not only is throwing garbage out the window harmful to the environment, it can also be harmful to other drivers. You would hate to have your vehicle hit with someone else’s trash, so be courteous of others.

  8. Know your lane!

    We have passing and slow lanes for a reason, so know what speed you are driving and travel in the correct lane. If you need to brush up, remember―right lane is for slower traffic and the left lane is for passing traffic. Don’t cruise in the passing lane! This can be dangerous as vehicles behind you could be driving much faster than you are.

  9. Make a quick exit!

    When exiting a ramp, merge as quickly as you can into the new traffic lane. Don’t stop at the end! Not only does stopping make it difficult to merge and holds up traffic, but it’s also dangerous as drivers behind you aren’t prepared for you to stop.

  10. Move to the side!

    It’s okay―accidents happen. But following a fender bender, remember to move your vehicles off to the side of the road to allow traffic to keep moving. Once you’re in a safer location, assess the vehicles, exchange information and contact police and your insurance companies if necessary.

It’s a lot to remember, we know. But following these tips will help make your commutes infinitely better―for you and your fellow commuters. Let’s keep sharing the love in our city, any way we can!

How to Safely Drive with Your Pet in the Car

dog riding in back seat of car looking out window

Note: Although this is cute, dogs should never stick their heads out of the car windows when you’re driving! It’s a safety hazard!

Our pets love a good car ride as much as we do but not everyone transports their pet the right way. With warmer weather coming up, we know you’ll be taking your four-legged friend out on the road with you, so we want to help refresh your memory on how to let your dog travel with you safely. To help us out, Philip Fulton, Manager of Community Outreach at the Calgary Humane Society, is here to give you a few tips!

 

Calgary Humane Society's Dos and Don'ts When Driving With Your Pet

 

DO secure pets in a crate, carrier or confined to the back seat for your and their safety. Though some dogs love riding in cars and can do so without too much excitement, care should be given when travelling with excitable/anxious dogs or ones you are unfamiliar with as they could pose a danger if they distract the driver.

DON’T allow dogs to ride freely in the open bed of a pick-up. Dogs have died from this and it is against Calgary by-laws.

DO travel with extra water, a bowl, poop bags, leash and towel when on road trips and take the dog out for a bit of a stretch; your dog needs those pit stops as much as you do!

DON’T allow pets to ride in the driver’s lap where they could obstruct vision, interfere with steering or otherwise impair driving.

DO feed your pet a few hours before a road trip. This will help prevent them from getting carsick and will overall make their experience that much better.

DON’T leave pets unattended in a car when it’s too hot (or too cold). Even with the windows down, temperatures can rise very quickly causing serious health concerns or even death.

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To make car trips easier for the both of you, we’ve listed some great car accessories to look into for your pet.

Backseat covers and hammocks:

Barriers:

SUV cargo covers:

Harnesses:

Steps and ramps:

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If you have some great pet travel tips that we didn’t mention, please share below!

5 Free Apps All Drivers Need

In a world where distracted driving is being punished (and rightly so!), you might think it odd for us to talk about five cell phone apps we encourage you to download. But these aren’t like most apps out there ― they’re specifically designed to make the most of your car drives and your vehicle itself. From finding you the cheapest gas station nearby to aiding in keeping you focused on the road ahead, here’s our list of recommended free apps.

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GasBuddy

Save money and time with this nifty little app. Wherever you are in North America, GasBuddy will show you the ten nearest gas stations and their current prices, so you can pick the cheapest place to fill up. The prices are updated by other GasBuddy users and those who post gas prices they come across are entered for a chance to win $100 free gas daily.

Canary

Ideal for parents of teen drivers, this app lets you always be in the know. Canary will notify you when your teen is texting, calling, tweeting or anything else on their phone while the car is in motion, as well as alerts you when they’re speeding over your preset maximum limit. Feel more at ease when your child leaves the house thanks to this great app.

AroundMe

Perfect for road trips or even if you’re just in a foreign part of town, AroundMe is the best app to find what you’re looking for. Whether you are looking for a spot to eat, something fun to do, a bank or a hotel (or anything in between), simply search for it and the app will provide you with tons of nearby options.

Fuelly

This app is geared towards helping you track your fuel mileage, which will give you the tools to monitor changes to your driving habits and to the health of your vehicle. Fuelly was designed for users to track, share and compare their vehicle’s fuel consumption and costs, saving you money over time.

OneTap

A tool to prevent distracted driving, OneTap was actually designed in Calgary. It detects when you’re driving and automatically silences calls, alerts and notifications. Android users also get the added bonus of the app sending out instant replies to calls and text messages, informing the other person that you’re driving. And like Canary, it also has the ability to check in on your kids to ensure they’re driving safely.

 

Remember: only use these apps when you’re not driving. If you need to use GasBuddy or AroundMe, pull over to park your car first.

Comment below which driving/car app your favourite is and if we missed one, let us know!