Car Maintenance Tips: Preparing Your Vehicle for Summer

As the temperatures start to warm up outside, more drivers plan to get on the road and enjoy the great weather. Before you do any driving, be sure to prepare your vehicle for summer! Summer car maintenance is just as important as winter maintenance, and it can save you from repairs and hassles later on if you take care of it early.

Summer Car Maintenance Essentials

  • Check the Tires – Check the inflation of your tires and make sure they are in accordance with the manufacturer instructions on your vehicle as well as the tire. Remember that as tires heat up, the air expands; so do not over-inflate or you may risk a tire blowout. If you have winter tires on, now is the time to change over to summer tires.
  • Wash Off the Salt – Winter takes a serious toll on the exterior of your vehicle and the salt from the roads that built up all season damages your paint. Wash the car thoroughly to scrub off the grime from winter.
  • Check the Brakes – Brake pads suffer from thermal cycling due to temperature changes outside. Have your brakes inspected during your next oil change and maintenance and replace any brake pads that are worn down.
  • Do Not Forget Coolant – Coolant levels must be checked manually. Because it prevents your engine from overheating, do not forget to check levels right before going on a summer road trip.
  • Get a Summer Maintenance Check – To ensure your vehicle is ready for the road this summer, visit your local service center for a summer tune-up. They will top off fluids, check for any repairs and can offer other summer car tips to keep you safe.

Consider a Refresher Course at a Driving School in North Vancouver and West Vancouver

Summer driving is fast-paced and some drivers on the road can be quite aggressive. Consider taking a refresher course from a driving school in North Vancouver and West Vancouver to prepare yourself for the season. If you are still working your way through your graduated license, summer is the perfect time to add on a class too.

North Shore Driving School Ltd. is your local driving school in Vancouver. We offer refresher courses for seniors, graduated license training and individual driving lessons to prepare you for the road. Learn more about our driving classes by calling 604-988-1138 or contact us online.

Tips for Elderly Drivers

As we get older, our bodies change and can make it difficult to perform routine tasks that we used to complete with ease. For many people, driving becomes more difficult with hip and knee pain, vision issues, and other factors that come with old age. If you or your loved one are getting older and have concerns about staying safe on the road, taking some simple steps toward more confident and safe driving conditions can go a long way.

3 Ways for Senior Drivers to Stay Safe on the Road

  1. Get Regular Health Checks – Having regular vision and hearing tests will help you identify problems with your physical capabilities before they cause a problem for you or other drivers on the road. Being alert on the road depends to a large extent on your ears and eyes, so catching any problems early can help you stay safe. Diabetes, seizures, or other chronic conditions should also be managed and checked up on regularly. Take your medication as prescribed and restrict driving as necessary, especially if there are side effects such as drowsiness or dizziness associated with your prescriptions.
  2. Make Proper Arrangements – As your eyes change and vision deteriorates, many people experience difficulty driving at night. If you have to attend an evening event or will be heading home after dark, call a cab or arrange to have someone else drive you home. Plan your route and study maps ahead of time so you feel confident on the road. If new prescriptions, glasses, or other health concerns make you uncomfortable driving in adverse weather conditions or on busy highways, it is best to avoid getting behind the wheel. Sign up for driving lessons in the Vancouver area to refresh your driving skills or figure out alternative transportation to help you travel safely.
  3. Identify Warning Signs – Decreased reaction time, stiffness, forgetfulness and other factors can lead to unsafe driving and accidents on the road. Be aware of these symptoms and take note of any changes you experience in your driving skills, habits, or techniques. Consult with your doctor about driving and take your skills into your own hands with refresher courses, learning defensive driving techniques, and by staying physically active.

If you are interested in improving your driving skills as you age and staying safe on the road, North Shore Driving School Ltd. offers senior driving refresher courses to help you or your loved one keep their confidence behind the wheel. We offer individual lessons at our driving schools throughout Whistler, Vancouver, and surrounding areas.

Schedule your driving lessons today. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact us online or give us a call at 604-988-1138.0

Drive Safe and Stay Alert on Long Truck Hauls in British Columbia

Driving for extended periods of time can become monotonous, especially if you are driving alone. Truck drivers face a lot of challenges on the road, from manoeuvring large vehicles to adverse road conditions. However, it is the isolation and long hours involved with extended truck hauls that can be the most difficult to overcome. Whether you are a seasoned truck driver or just beginning your Class 1 driving at our school in Surrey, keeping entertained on the road can help you stay alert and drive safe.

5 Ways to Stay Entertained on Long Haul Drives

If you spend hours upon hours behind the wheel of a truck, occupying your mind can help you pass the time. Here are 5 ways you can entertain yourself on long drives:

  1. Podcasts: Think beyond traditional radio, skip the commercials and learn more about something you are interested in by tuning into a podcast. Whether you like a particular celebrity or sport, love a good story, want to be inspired by big ideas, or just curious about catching up on some common facts, there is likely a podcast out there that will hold your interest and keep you alert.
  2. Socializing: Whether it is at a rest stop or over the old CB radios, many truck drivers enjoy meeting and getting to know their peers. Sharing stories from the road, cracking jokes while driving, and building a network of peers can help pass the time and provide support for the unique challenges of the job.
  3. Portable Hobbies: Many truck drivers take up portable hobbies such as knitting, crochet, chess or photography. Always dreamed of learning another language? Find an app or CD and spend your hours on the road or at rest stops learning new skills. If you want to improve your truck driving skills as well, sign up for truck driving lessons in Burnaby.
  4. Audio Books and eBooks: You no longer have to haul multiple paperbacks in addition to your cargo. Playing an audio book on the road is a great way to make your drive even more productive and get lost in another world as you drive a familiar route.
  5. Smartphones: Truck drivers today have it a lot easier than those in the past thanks to smartphones. It is now easier than ever to take your favourite music, books and television shows on the road. Plus, staying connected with family friends is more convenient thanks to these devices and social media. While they have made staying connected easier, they can also cause distraction on the road. A truck driving school serving Coquitlam, Richmond, or Surrey can help provide tips to make you a safe driver and provide techniques to keep distractions at bay.

It’s IMPORTANT to Stay Safe on Your Long Truck Hauls

If you need a refresher on safe driving techniques or are pursuing a career in truck driving, North Shore Driving School offers Class 1 driving lessons in Abbotsford, Surrey, Burnaby, and throughout the Greater Vancouver area. We can help you stay safe while being entertained on the road or guide you as you begin your career as a trucker.

Learn more about our truck driving courses in British Columbia. Call us today at 604-988-1138 or contact us online to learn more about our Class 1 driving schools.

Tips for Learning to Drive After Your Teenage Years

If you’re a non-driver but you’ve passed the legal driving age, you may feel embarrassed or out of place when people start discussing recent driving situations. Perhaps you’ve even concurred as they list their pet peeves about other drivers, pretending you understand from personal experience.

Not everyone learns to drive in their lifetime, but it is an important rite of passage for many Canadians. If you missed learning to drive as a teenager because of fear, limited access to a car, or lack of need, you’ve probably learned to get around in other ways.

But, sometimes life changes like relocation or a different marital status give you an impetus to add driving skills to your repertoire. Don’t fret! Your 20s, 30s, 40s, or beyond are a great time to learn to drive.

Why Learn to Drive Now?

Do you need a little more convincing before you agree to vacate the passenger seat? Here are four benefits you can gain by becoming a driver:

  1. Learn to love the convenience. Driving a personal vehicle is one of the world’s most popular transportation modes for a reason: it’s convenient. If you learn to drive and buy a car, you can go where you want, when you want. No more waiting for buses or taxis.
  2. Get to know your city better. Many non-drivers feel helpless when the driver asks for help with directions. If you’re accustomed to walking everywhere in your city, you’ll be surprised at the new perspective you gain when you navigate its streets behind the wheel.
  3. Conquer a fear. Many people avoid driving as long as possible because they know it can be dangerous. Lessons from a professional driving instructor will allow you to learn at your own pace and face your fears about driving.
  4. Gain a sense of accomplishment. If you have “learn to drive” on your bucket list, work on checking it off now. Many people who learn to drive after their teenage years count it as one of their biggest achievements.

How Can You Get Started?

Okay, so you’ve decided to take the leap and join the driving club! Now what? As a non-driver, you almost certainly don’t own a car. And you’d probably prefer not to strain any valued relationships by asking a friend or partner to teach you.

No problem. Follow these tricks to begin your journey on the road to a driver’s license:

Take solo lessons. As an adult learning to drive, you’ll have different levels of confidence and nerves than a teen driver. Instead of enrolling in a big class with other first-time drivers, meet one on one with a professional instructor. He or she can assess your current skill level. You may only need a few lessons before you’re ready for a solo drive.

Start small. Choose a practical, smaller-sized vehicle for your first driving experience. You can learn the basics better in a small sedan than a massive truck. Small cars have smaller blind spots and navigate easier. They also tend to have less power, which makes it easier for you or your instructor to catch mistakes and correct them.

Go slow. We don’t mean keep your car under 25 kph (although you should follow posted speed limits). This tip means that you should learn to drive at your own pace. Don’t try to fit every skill into one or two lessons, especially if you have major fears about driving. Take your time so you learn to drive safely under all conditions.

Acknowledge your emotions. Driving can bring out many emotions, from fear to excitement and even fun. And when you venture onto the road, the actions of other drivers inspire other emotions. When you start to experience road rage or driving anxiety, acknowledge it. Control your feelings as much as possible. If you feel your emotions getting out of hand, pull over when it’s safe and take a quick breather.

Ask your instructor for tips about special driving conditions. Most adults learning to drive need only a short time before becoming solo drivers. Therefore, they only experience a fraction of the numerous driving conditions. Take time with your driving instructor to discuss driving:

  • In harsh weather conditions (heavy rain, snow, strong winds)
  • During and after car problems (tire blowouts, accidents, etc.)

What Driving Skills Should You Focus On?

Finally you’re at your first lesson, and it’s almost time to start the car. As you begin life as a driver, you may feel like you’re doing a lot of multitasking. You have to control the gas and brake pedals, steer the wheel, check your mirrors, watch your gauges, and navigate through traffic.

You don’t need to feel overwhelmed. Try to focus on these important driving skills (that are sometimes harder to master or remember):

  • Changing lanes
  • Passing other cars
  • Applying the right amount of pressure to the pedals
  • Parking
  • Checking blind spots

After your first lesson, ask your instructor what your strengths and weaknesses as a driver are. During your next lesson, you can focus on those skills so you’ll have more confidence in them.

As you take these steps, you can become a self-assured driver. At North Shore Driving School. we are known as a quality driving school in Vancouver. We offer driving lessons out of our North Vancouver driving school. Contact North Shore Driving School today and get ready to hit the road.