What To Do If You Fail Your Driving Test In B.C.

If you’ve failed your first test, failed multiple times, or your license has expired before you can take your exam, follow these steps to get back on track! 

For many, getting your license is considered a young adult milestone and a rite of passage. You probably set reminders in your calendar, counted down the days, and told all your friends that you were going to pick them up and go for a ride as soon as you finished the test!

However, not everyone is able to pass their driving exam on the first try. When you’re a new driver, failing to pass your ICBC driving test can be a huge blow to your confidence. But instead of feeling discouraged, it’s time to regroup and come up with a plan on how to pass your next test!

North Shore Driving School wants to offer you the advice you need to become a fully licenced driver whether you’re driving through North Vancouver, West Vancouver or anywhere else in our beautifully scenic province.

Wait times after failing your driving test

After an unsuccessful attempt at passing your driving test, you can’t retake the test immediately. Instead, you have to wait a designated amount of time, which varies based on your testing history.

The wait times after failing to pass a N (Novice) test and full licence test are the same. They’re as follows:

  • First failed attempt: 14 days
  • Second failed attempt: 30 days
  • Three or more failed attempts: 60 days

If your license has been expired for more than three years, you’ll either need to exchange your current out-of-province licence for a B.C. licence or need to be tested again for each vehicle class you were allowed to drive. Should you fail to pass that test, the wait times listed above apply as well.

Next steps after failing your test

While you’re waiting to retake your driving test, it’s important to be proactive. To increase your odds of passing next time, we recommend following these steps:

  • Ask your evaluator for feedback. Upon completing your driving test, the evaluator will go over your results with you. If you don’t earn a passing score, ask them for detailed feedback and ask follow-up questions if you’re unclear.
  • Get back behind the wheel. After failing a driving test, many new drivers are discouraged and tempted to take a few weeks off from driving. However, taking a break isn’t encouraged! By avoiding driving, your skills can quickly fade.
  • Practice, practice, practice. If you asked your evaluator for feedback, they no doubt outlined some areas in your driving that need improvement. Now that you know your weak spots, it’s important to practice regularly to improve them.

NEED A DRIVING SCHOOL IN NORTH OR WEST VANCOUVER?

If you recently failed a driving test, North Shore Driving School can help. Based in North Vancouver, our highly regarded driving school offers courses taught by professional instructors and serves the Greater Vancouver Area, including West Vancouver, Lions Bay, Deep Cove and Bowen Island.

Contact us today and begin working towards passing your next driving test with flying colours!

The Benefits of Learning Defensive Driving Techniques

Law-abiding, focused and alert, defensive drivers are safer drivers. That’s why North Shore Driving School offers a defensive driving course for motorists in and around Vancouver.

Reactive vs Defensive Drivers

Most people are reactionary drivers. This means that they tend to react to what happens around them without really planning ahead or anticipating potentially dangerous situations. This is normal, especially in less experienced drivers. However, a defensive driving course teaches them to be more proactive and take steps to reduce the risk of an incident.

Being able to prioritize road safety has far-reaching consequences. For instance, fewer accidents means fewer insurance claims, which over time can build up to considerable savings on your car insurance. In addition, defensive drivers are far less likely to be at fault when an incident occurs.

Who should take a defensive driving course?

Simply put, anyone with a driver’s license will benefit from a defensive driving course. This being said, learning defensive driving techniques may be particularly beneficial in the following cases:

  • Young or beginner drivers. While basic driver training covers safety, it also requires students to learn traffic law and get used to controlling their vehicle. A dedicated safety course can help reduce injury rates, which are very high in this age group.
  • Commercial drivers. If you manage a fleet of vehicles or drive as part of your job, defensive driving courses are an effective way to reduce liability risks and injuries.

In addition, people who receive a ticket for a driving infraction are sometimes required to complete a defensive driving course.

How defensive driving courses help you save a life

A third of all traffic accidents are caused by aggressive driving such as tailgating and speeding. As a defensive driver, you’re taught to avoid these risks, for instance by a leaving 3-second gap between yourself and the vehicle in front. You’ll also learn to stay alert by looking 15 seconds ahead rather than following the cues of other drivers. This way, you spot any incoming hazards in time to react appropriately.

Defensive driving courses also train you to maintain your focus on the road, meaning you never eat, drink, scroll through your phone or play excessively loud music while driving. These activities count as distractions and reduce your ability to drive safely.

Sign up for defensive driving courses in Vancouver

Whether you’re a brand-new driver or an experienced driver looking to sharpen your skills, North Shore Driving School’s defensive driving course has a lot to offer. Contact us today to enroll in our program and learn how to stay safe on Vancouver’s roads all year round.

Tips to Safely Practise Your Driving

While courses with an instructor are a great start, you should also make an effort to refine your driving skills on your own time. Here’s how to safely practise your driving.

Once you’ve obtained your learner’s licence, the next step to getting your full driver’s license is to pass the road test. The best way to maximize your chances of succeeding on the first try is to practise as often as possible.

Safe places to practise

Since you’re still getting used to being behind the wheel, it’s a good idea to practise in quiet areas. An empty parking lot gives you plenty of space to familiarize yourself with the basics. Plus, you don’t have to worry about traffic signs, pedestrians and other vehicles.

When you feel ready, you can start driving on roads with little to no traffic such as industrial streets after business hours. Familiarize yourself with the area beforehand or choose a route you already know. This will help you focus on driving rather than navigating.

As you get more comfortable behind the wheel, you can slowly progress to driving on residential streets, boulevards and highways.

How to prepare

Every time you get into a vehicle, there are a few things you need to do to ensure a safe and comfortable drive. Adjust the angle of your rearview and side mirrors so you have a clear view of your surroundings. You should also take the time to adjust the position of your seat, steering wheel and headrest. This will help keep you safe and prevent you from getting distracted by discomfort while you drive.

Who to practise with

If you plan to practise without a driving instructor, you need to have a responsible and experienced driver in the passenger’s seat. This person must be at least 25 years old and have their full driver’s license. In addition to offering tips to improve your driving, they can answer questions about the rules of the road and help you navigate tricky situations.

In addition, it’s best to have as few distractions as possible while you learn to drive. Your phone should be out of sight and put on silent. You should also avoid playing music or listening to the radio.

Your go-to driving school in North Vancouver

If you want to gain the skills to become a safe and confident driver, sign up for driving lessons at North Shore Driving School in North Vancouver. Our theory and in-car classes will help you prepare for your practical exam and the open road ahead. For more information about our courses or to schedule your first lesson, contact us today.0

How to Handle Stress for First Time Drivers

Getting behind the wheel for the first time often comes with a mix of emotions. It’s so exciting to have finally hit this major milestone, but it’s also incredibly nerve-wracking to be suddenly given such responsibility.

Extreme emotions, including elevated stress-levels, can impair your ability to drive, so it’s important to try to remain calm when you get behind the wheel. Naturally, this is easier said than done, so here’s some advice about how to manage your stress before you drive for the first time.

Get comfortable

Take your time adjusting your seat and mirrors into positions that are comfortable and allow you to see well. It can take some trial and error to find the settings that are right for you, so don’t rush yourself. Being in an uncomfortable position while driving can distract you, while being seated comfortably will help you relax and allow you to pay attention to more important things.

Take a familiar route

The need to navigate complex directions will only stress you out more. The first time you drive, stick to streets you know well. Take a familiar route through a quiet area where you can focus on getting a feel for the vehicle. Steer clear of any major streets or highways. There’s a time and a place to learn how to navigate those and your first time behind the wheel definitely isn’t it.

Have a trusted licensed ADULT with you

While you learn to drive, it’s required that you have a licensed adult with you at all times. Make sure that this person is someone with lots of driving experience. Furthermore, it’s important that you drive with someone who’s patient and doesn’t get nervous easily. If they’re stressed out, how can you be expected to remain calm? Their job is to support you while you drive and to give you advice that’ll help you learn the rules of the road.

Scheduling your driving lessons

Of course, the best way to reduce stress while driving is to get lots of practice. North Shore Driving School Ltd. will provide you with the experience you need to become a skilled and confident driver. We’re proud to offer courses not only in the car division, but in the truck division as well, which includes instruction such as Class 1 driver training. Contact our driving school in B.C. today to schedule your lessons.

Life on the Road: Truck Stop Safety Tips

Whether you’re behind the wheel of a truck or driving a car, long-distance trips require you to take regular breaks. If you aren’t used to it, you may worry about yourself and your cargo. Here are some safety tips to follow when pulling into truck stops.

General Safety Tips

Remember that truck stops may have children and pets running around, so always be mindful of your speed. Be cautious when making turns, and be wary of blind spots.

If you’re worried about other people posing a threat, avoid truck stops that look deserted or poorly lit. it’s also a good idea to steer clear of busy ones that seem to be occupied by a single group, as in those cases the presence of others is unlikely to deter disruptive behaviour.

Most importantly, trust your instincts. If a location seems unsafe or makes you uncomfortable, don’t stop. Effective tactics when trying to avoid being targeted by would-be criminals is to make it look like you aren’t on your own. Planning stops ahead of time and targeting places that are known to be safe is a good idea.

Finally, regardless of the length of your stop, always make sure your cargo is secure.

Short Stops

Quick, short breaks may feel less stressful than long stops, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t remain alert.

If you’re stopping for gas, don’t wait too long for an ideal spot to free up. Get into the next available space and try to fill up quickly. Waiting too long could cause a bottleneck, which is likely to slow everyone down and increase your risk of being in collision.

When you’re ready to go inside to use the restroom or buy some food, be careful not to park in a spot reserved for large rigs. They don’t have as many parking options and the more they have to drive around, the likelier they are to cause issues with other vehicles.

Overnight Stops

If you’re stopping for the night, check with the attendant to make sure you park in a spot designated for your type of vehicle and for long-term stops. It’s also courteous to do your best to respect everyone’s privacy.

Lower Mainland Driving School

If you want to get your truck driving licence or just want to refresh your skills to become a better driver, North Shore Driving School has you covered. Our service area includes North and West Vancouver, Burnaby and more. Contact us today to learn more about our courses!

How to Overcome Your Anxiety About Driving

There are many benefits to getting your driver’s license including a newfound freedom and independence. However, for many people, learning how to drive can be a considerable source of anxiety. If you’re nervous about getting behind the wheel, here’s what you should know.

Is driving anxiety normal?

While getting your driver’s license is an exciting milestone, it’s very common for that excitement to be mixed with a degree of hesitation or fear. As a new driver, you need to learn a lot of new skills and take on some significant responsibilities. This can be quite nerve-wracking. What’s important to remember is that with the right knowledge and plenty of practise, you can learn to be a safe and confident driver.

Practice makes perfect

The best way to improve your confidence in your driving skills is to practise as often as possible. Your first few times behind the wheel might be scary, so start by driving in an empty parking lot or on quiet industrial streets after business hours. This will help you focus on the basics and gain experience that will ease your fear. Finally, stick to familiar areas and slowly progress to busier streets and more challenging driving conditions when you feel ready.

Keep in mind that until you pass your road exam, you need to have a fully-licensed driver who’s at least 25 years old in the passenger’s seat. Their presence and experience can help keep you calm. They can also offer you advice and guidance if you’re ever unsure about what to do.

Can driving school help?

Taking driving lessons is a great way to alleviate your anxiety about driving. Theory classes allow you to familiarize yourself with the rules of the road so you feel prepared when you get behind the wheel. In your practical courses, you’ll be accompanied by a trained instructor who will help you navigate the various situations you may encounter on the road. They can also offer advice and support as you build up your confidence to drive alone.

Remember, it’s normal to feel nervous or scared about learning to drive. However, if your anxiety is severe enough to interfere with your driving or prevent you from getting behind the wheel at all, consider speaking with a mental health professional to help you manage your driving anxiety.

Sign up for lessons today

If you want to cultivate the skills needed to become a safe and confident driver, the professional driving instructors at North Shore Driving School in North Vancouver can help. For more information about our courses, contact us today.

What New Drivers Should Know About Child Car Seats

Properly used, seat belts significantly decrease your risk for serious injury or death in the event of a collision. This is because they hold your body in place during impact. But to work as intended, seat belts require the passenger to be a certain size. This why car seats are essential and non-negotiable for children and infants.

Child Seat Requirements By Age Group

In British Columbia, provincial law specifies four age groups, each with their own indicated category of child seating and restraint systems. They’re as follows:

  • Infants. Until they reach 12 months of age or exceed a weight of 9 kilograms (20 pounds), children should be seated in a rear-facing car seat.
  • Toddlers. Children over a year old or heavier than 9 kilograms (20 pounds), should be strapped in a forward-facing car seat until they reach a weight of 18 kilograms (40 pounds).
  • Under nine years old. From the time they’re too big for their car seats, children should be switched to a booster seat until they reach a height of 145 centimetres (4 feet, 9 inches).
  • Youth over nine years old. If they meet the necessary height requirement, children can sit without a booster seat and will be well-protected so long as their seat belt is properly adjusted.

These rules are meant to keep children safe. Every year in British Columbia, 1,300 children are injured in motor vehicle accidents and five die. Properly used, child seats reduce the risk of fatality by 71 per cent.

Important Tips for Parents

It’s important to not switch your child to a new type of seat too early. In particular, infants should use rear-facing seats for as long as possible as they offer the best protection. They provide much better head and neck support and reduce the risk of injuries to these sensitive areas.

Also remember that avoiding collisions and driving defensively should be your priority.

Why Child Seats Are Important

Always remember that no matter how secure a regular seat belt may look, it’s not designed to protect people under a certain height. When used improperly, seat belts can make it more likely that a child will be injured, even in a minor collision.

A Driving School with Safety Always Top of Mind

North Shore Driving School is proud to offer comprehensive driving courses. From North and West Vancouver to Burnaby, we’re here to help. We also provide a range of courses designed for beginners and experienced drivers alike, so contact us to learn more about our driving courses.

The 9 Classes Of Dangerous Goods

If you’re thinking of embarking on an exciting career on the open road as a long-haul truck driver, it’s imperative that you select a driving school that teaches its enrollees about the transportation of dangerous goods.

These goods must be transported with considerable care to ensure the safety of the driver, other vehicles on the road and the surrounding environment. Here’s an overview of Transport Canada’s classification of dangerous goods.

Class 1: Explosive materials

Explosive materials have the ability to rapidly detonate or conflagrate, thus making them dangerous to transport. Indeed, explosives are capable of producing threatening levels of gas, heat, light, sound and smoke.

Class 2: Gases

Gases are hazardous for a variety of reasons, such as: their flammability, oxidizing properties, asphyxiation risks and toxicity. This class is divided into flammable gases, toxic gases and non-flammable and non-toxic gases like helium and oxygen.

Class 3: Flammable liquids

Flammable liquids emit flammable vapours, which can lead to fire and combustion. Some of them can ignite when exposed to temperatures as low as 60.5 degrees Celsius or less.

Class 4: Flammable solids

Flammable solids are prone to combustion. These hazardous reactions occur for many reasons including exposure to air, water or friction.

Class 5: Oxidizing substances and organic pesticides

If poorly transported, oxidizing substances and organic pesticides both have high potential for causing fires and explosions. Oxidizing substances are volatile due to their ability to yield oxygen, and organic pesticides are thermally unstable and often release excessive heat during decomposition.

Class 6: Toxic and infectious substances

These pose considerable danger to human health. If inhaled, swallowed or touched, a toxic substance can lead to serious injury or death, while infectious substances contain pathogens such as bacteria, parasites or viruses.

Class 7: Radioactive materials

Radioactive materials contain radionuclides, which are atoms vulnerable to radioactive decay. The ionizing radiation emitted during radioactive decay can be tremendously harmful to living organisms.

Class 8: Corrosive materials

Corrosives are hazardous because they can degrade or disintegrate other materials on contact. If improperly stored, these corrosive agents can cause significant damage to living tissue, as well as to the surrounding area during transport.

Class 9: Miscellaneous

Materials with dangerous properties that don’t fit into the other categories fall under the miscellaneous class. This class contains materials such as asbestos, solid dry ice and even items like chainsaws.

LEARN MORE AT OUR TRUCK DRIVING SCHOOL

To expand your knowledge on these nine classes, consider signing up for the Dangerous Goods program offered by North Shore Driving School. Based out of Burnaby, our truck driving school provides a comprehensive 4-hour course for drivers of all levels. Contact us by phone or email to learn more!

How To Avoid Aggressive Drivers

Aggressive drivers are intimidating and a source of danger on the road, especially if you’re a new driver. Here are a few tips to help you respond to an encounter with an aggressive driver so you can safely reach your destination.

Don’t engage

From tailgating to speeding through yellow lights, the behaviours exhibited by aggressive drivers can be frustrating to say the least. You may be tempted to respond with similar manoeuvres or a rude hand gesture. However, it’s best to avoid escalating the situation as much as possible. Try to contain your annoyance, avoid eye contact and don’t attempt to teach the aggressive driver a lesson. Focus on driving safely and staying out of their way.

Keep calm

In any circumstances, it’s important to keep your cool while driving. Getting angry or emotional behind the wheel can distract you from the task at hand. While an aggressive driver’s behaviour might make you irritated or nervous, do your best to stay relaxed and concentrate on reaching your destination. Remember, there are many reasons why someone might choose to drive aggressively, so don’t take it personally.

Get out of their way

As much as possible, steer clear of aggressive drivers. If you see someone speeding in the left lane, for example, safely move into the right lane. Be sure to leave plenty of space between your car and other vehicles so you can easily move out of the way if necessary.

Give up the parking spot

In addition to encountering aggressive drivers on the road, you might also have to deal with them while you look for parking. It’s common for aggressive drivers to cut off other motorists to claim an available parking spot. While this can be extremely frustrating, it’s best to just let it go. Whether the other driver intentionally stole your space or simply didn’t notice you, the conflict isn’t worth it. Another spot will open up.

Driving lessons in North Vancouver

Whether you want to be prepared for an encounter with an aggressive driver or ensure you don’t develop aggressive driving habits yourself, the professional instructors at North Shore Driving School can help. We offer theory and practical courses to teach you the rules of the road and the best safe driving practices. To schedule a class in North Vancouver or learn about our truck driving school in Burnaby, contact us today.

3 Tips For Safe Driving in a Severe Rainstorm

As a new driver, you need to learn how to adapt your driving to a wide range of road and weather conditions.

In a rainstorm, for example, wet roads can be slippery and a downpour can impair your visibility. While experience will greatly improve your ability to navigate tricky driving conditions, here are a few basic tips to help you stay safe if you’re just starting out.

  1. Keep your car in good condition
    Make sure the car you drive is regularly serviced and properly maintained. Get the brakes checked on a regular basis, replace the tires before they wear out and make sure the windshield wipers work properly. These upkeep tasks and more will ensure your car is best equipped to handle whatever weather and road conditions you encounter.
  2.  Turn on your headlights
    Whether it’s day or night, turn on your headlights if you’re driving in a rainstorm. This will help you see the road ahead and ensure other drivers can see you. Impaired visibility can easily cause a road accident, so it’s best to shine some extra light on the situation.
  3.  Proceed with caution
    While you should always make sure to drive safely, it’s important to be extra cautious if you’re driving in a rainstorm or other severe weather. Leave more space between you and the car ahead and reduce your speed, especially when going around corners. It might take you a little longer to reach your destination, but be patient. Safety should always be your first priority on the road.

When (and how) to safely pull over

If your visibility is severely impaired or you feel unsafe driving, it’s time to get off the road. If possible, safely exit the road and find a parking lot where you can wait out the storm. Slow down carefully as drivers behind you might not be able to clearly see you.

If there’s nowhere to exit nearby, pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. Make sure you’re pulled over enough so that no part of the vehicle is sticking out into the lane.

Take driving lessons in North Vancouver

If you want to make sure you have the right knowledge and skills to drive in almost any weather or road conditions, the instructors at North Shore Driving School can help. We offer theory and in-car driving lessons to help you become a safe, confident driver. We also have a top-quality truck driving school in Burnaby. For more information or to register for a course, contact us today.