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.


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!

Sleep Apnea and Truck Driving: What you need to know

Sleep apnea is one of the biggest problems facing the commercial trucking industry today.

According to the most recent studies, about one-third of truck drivers have mild to severe sleep apnea, and drivers with this ailment are five times more likely to be in a preventable crash.

If you’re a trucker or are planning to become one, it’s important that you know the facts about sleep apnea. Here’s a basic overview of this ailment and the impact it has on truck drivers.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea, also called obstructive sleep apnea, is a respiratory condition that causes breathing interruptions of 10 seconds or longer while sleeping, with as many as 400 such pauses occurring in a single night. As sleep apnea affects the quality of a person’s sleep, it can lead to a spectrum of daytime symptoms, including:

  • Irritability
  • Feelings of depression
  • Morning headaches and nausea
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive drowsiness

The last two symptoms in particular — difficulty concentrating and excessive drowsiness — are extremely problematic for truck drivers. Sleep apnea makes it difficult for them to stay awake, focus their eyes and quickly react when driving.

What causes sleep apnea?

The main risk factors for sleep apnea are obesity and anatomical features like a thick neck, recessed chin, small jaw or narrow throat. Additional factors include nasal congestion, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

The high rates of sleep apnea among truckers may be due to the sedentary nature of the job, which can lead to obesity.

How is sleep apnea treated?

The most common treatment for sleep apnea involves the CPAP machine, which pumps air into a mask worn over the mouth and/or nose during sleep. This helps to keep the airways open and prevent breathing pauses.

Most cases of sleep apnea can be treated successfully, causing the ailment’s symptoms to greatly subside or disappear. Truck drivers with sleep apnea who undergo treatment should recover their ability to be alert, focused and quick to react when behind the wheel.

Truckers who suspect they may have sleep apnea should get tested immediately to ensure that they can safely perform their job. Moreover, note that certain truck companies in North America now require drivers who have a high body mass index (in some cases, 35) to undergo mandatory testing for sleep apnea. Testing is performed at a sleep centre, where the person’s sleep is monitored overnight.

A truck driving school serving Burnaby and Coquitlam

At North Shore Driving School, our professional truck driving school teaches safe driving practices and include lessons on collision avoidance and preventable accidents. To learn more about our courses, contact us today.0

Your Guide to Choosing a Used Vehicle

Once you’ve obtained your driver’s licence, it’s time to look into getting a car. Given the high cost of new vehicles, many people decide to buy their first car second-hand. Though opting for a used car is a smart move, like any major purchase, it’s a decision that requires a lot of consideration. However, if you keep these tips in mind, you’re sure to pick the right one.

What kind of car do you need?

The first consideration when choosing a used car is to pinpoint what kind of vehicle is right for you. To do so, determine your budget, how often you’ll be using the car, what makes and models you prefer, what size you need, your ideal safety rating and the fuel economy that suits you best. This will help narrow down the many options available to you.

Book a pre-purchase inspection

Before purchasing a used car, take your potential new ride to a mechanic for a once-over. During the inspection, any problems with the vehicle, be they mechanical, cosmetic, or safety-related, will be uncovered. Afterward, you can make an informed decision about whether or not you still want to buy the car. If you decide to, the information from the inspection can be used to negotiate a better price.

Take a test-drive

Looking at a car can only tell you so much. You won’t know how it handles until you’ve driven it. Take thirty minutes to drive the car around a familiar area to make sure that it can perform all basic manoeuvres to your satisfaction. These include braking, accelerating, changing lanes and parking. Doing so will help you determine if it’s a vehicle you’re comfortable driving.

Negotiating prices

Sometimes, the listed price for a used vehicle doesn’t seem fair. Don’t be afraid to try and negotiate. For reference, there are online tools which allow you to view the average price of similar vehicles in your area. Factor in what you learned during the pre-purchase inspection, then make an offer you feel is more suited to your budget. Be sure to be confident and be willing to pass on the car if the negotiation doesn’t go your way. There will always be other cars, so you don’t have to settle.

Scheduling driving lessons

With both a car division and a truck division, North Shore Driving School Ltd. has provided excellent driving instruction since 1961. Whether you’re in need of a refresher course or are making plans to get your Class 1 driver’s licence for operating semi-trailers, we offer convenient pay-as-you-go courses that can easily be tailored to fit your busy schedule. Contact our driving school in Surrey, B.C. today to make an appointment.

11 essentials you’ll need to keep on trucking

Veteran or novice, no long-distance trucker should get behind the wheel without making sure their cab is fully equipped to handle life on the open road. Here are 11 things you should never leave home without.

1. De-icer. If you’re going to face frigid weather, you’ll want to bring some de-icer. It’ll allow you to clear your windshield with minimal effort and ensure good visibility.

2. Toiletries and medications. It’s easy to remember to bring some cash for emergencies and enough clothing to last the entire trip, but don’t forget to bring deodorant, soap, oral hygiene products and any medication you might need in addition to the basics included in your first aid kit.

3. First aid kit. No truck should be without a first aid kit. Many companies offer regulation kits specifically stocked for people who drive commercial vehicles. These include the necessary supplies to deal with common roadside injuries.

4. Earplugs. If you’re a team driver and your co-driver snores or likes to listen to music while you’re trying to sleep, these are non-negotiable.

5. Rechargeable headlamp. This can be a lifesaver if your truck breaks down in the middle of the night.

6. Power bank. These devices store power and can be used to charge your cellphone in a pinch. If you break down and you have no way to charge your phone, you’ll be happy to have a power bank with you.

7. Gloves. Warm gloves will keep you comfortable if you’re stuck on the side of the road waiting for a mechanic, and a pair of work gloves will come in handy if you need to do some lifting or repairs.

8. Sunglasses. Whatever the season, you’ll want to protect your eyes from the sun. A good pair of polarized sunglasses will reduce eye strain and ensure you’re not blinded by sunlight reflecting on cars or snow.

9. Non-perishable food and water. If your truck breaks down in the middle of nowhere, you’ll want to have enough food and water to stay comfortable until help arrives.

10. Bad weather gear. If you need to step out of the cab to make repairs in bad weather, you’ll be glad to have an extra jacket and a pair of boots.

11. Sleeping bag, blanket and pillows. Carrying conventional bedding can be a hassle. A sleeping bag is a lot more compact and can be just as comfortable.

Get ready to hit the road

If you want to get your class 1 driver’s license, visit us at North Shore Driving School. We serve Abbotsford, Surrey and the Greater Vancouver area. Contact us today to find out more about our truck driving programs.

Why it’s important for your teen to attend driving school

For many Canadian teens, learning how to drive is an important rite of passage into adulthood. Getting a 7L licence is a great moment for many young people, but for their parents, it’s also the start of a whole new set of worries. To make sure that your children become safe drivers, you should encourage them to get the practice they need with professional guidance from a driving school.

At North Shore Driving School, we’ve been helping Vancouverites learn how to become safe, responsible drivers since 1961. If your teen is ready to learn how to drive, here are just a few reasons that attending driving school is one of the best possible ways for him or her to acquire this skill.

• Prevents your teen from developing bad driving habits. If you’ve been driving for years, you can probably understand how difficult it is to break a bad driving habit once you’ve developed one. Whether its rolling through a stop sign or just going a bit too fast on the highway, you likely don’t want your child to become accustomed to dangerous behaviours. When it comes to safe driving, it’s never too early to start learning the best habits.

• Practice will help your teen advance more quickly. It’s tough sometimes for parents to balance the need for their teen to practice driving and the desire to protect them from harm. However, the only way for your child to improve their driving skills is to put in lots of time behind the wheel. Parents should let their teen practice frequently and the safest way to do so, is with the help of a professional driving instructor.

• Driving school helps your teen drive safer. For an experienced driver, all the complex, coordinated movements involved in operating a car seem natural. Likewise, the many rules of the road seem straightforward and clearcut. When you’re just starting out, however, driving is complex and there’s little that seems obvious about it. Fortunately, driving lessons from a professional driving school will provide the training your teen needs to become a safe and conscientious driver.

• Driving school looks good to insurance companies. Even with the best training, it’s a statistical fact that young, relatively inexperienced drivers get into accidents more frequently than more mature drivers. This is why insurance rates will always be higher for a new driver. When calculating premiums, however, most insurance companies will consider someone who’s gone to driving school to be a safer bet than someone who hasn’t.

If you’re interested in getting the best training to ensure that your teen will have everything he or she needs to be a safe, responsible driver, contact us at North Shore Driving School today. You can even take a refresher course yourself, so you can polish your own skills and share the experience with your teen.

Tips on how to pass your driving test in BC

At North Shore Driving School, we know that not everyone does well under testing conditions. Even if you’re a great driver, you may feel the pressure of getting it right while under scrutiny. The best way to prepare for your driving test is to get the best advice possible and practice as much as you can.

Here are just a few common-sense tips we at North Shore Driving School can offer you before you take your road test:

Practice as much as you can beforehand
It may sound obvious, but a lot of drivers might feel nervous getting behind the wheel—especially if you’re going somewhere with more experienced drivers. Remember, however, that the best way to gain confidence is through experience. Take advantage of every opportunity you get to practice your driving in a real-world setting.

Get a good night’s rest
Even if you’re the sort of person that gets nervous about testing, the best thing you can do the night before your exam is to get a good night’s sleep. If you’re well rested, your memory will be more acute and your reflexes will be in top shape.

Don’t forget to check your car’s settings before starting the engine
One common mistake that a lot of people make if they haven’t taken a driving test before is to rush to get the car started and get on their way. It’s understandable that you’d want to get the test over with as soon as possible, but try not to rush at the expense of getting things right. Before you start the engine, be sure to go through a check of your car’s settings. Are the mirrors correctly positioned? Have you buckled your seatbelt? Getting these details right every time is what safe driving is all about.

Know what the examiners will be looking for
The people who administer driving tests aren’t out to get you. They’re simply trying to do their job of making sure that drivers in British Columbia meet safety standards. The examiner’s job is not to see if you mean well when driving a car or whether you know the rules of the road in your head—it’s to make sure you can demonstrate safe driving habits and procedures. Be sure you know the things that a driving examiner will be looking for before you take the test, and carefully demonstrate your mastery of those skills.

Get the best help you can to prepare
Attending a well-respected professional driving school to prepare for the driving exam is a great idea for everyone in British Columbia. Whether you’re taking your test for the first time or you simply want to brush up on a few essential skills, we’re here to help. Contact us for professional lessons at North Shore Driving School today.

What You Need to Know about Vancouver Police Commercial Safety Inspections

Whether you are the owner of a trucking company or a commercial driver, driving through Vancouver is not going to be as easy as it was before. In fact, Vancouver police are now cracking down on unsafe commercial vehicles, and their inspections have yet to allow a truck to leave free and clear.

In fact, one news article reported that out of the 75 trucks inspected randomly one day, none were able to leave without being assessed for a violation of some kind. Therefore, if you are operating a commercial vehicle, you need to be aware of

these inspections, what they are looking for, and what it means for your business.

How do Enforcement Inspections Affect You? 

According to the Vancouver Police Department’s Commercial Vehicle Unit, and the Provincial Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement team, commercial vehicles are inspected at random for violations. So far in 2017, 94 percent of the vehicles inspected had some form of violation. 
If you have a violation, you could face significant fines. Therefore, to avoid them, you need to be aware of what they are looking for and what it means for your company:

· Tires: Balding tires are a significant safety risk. Commercial vehicle fleets rely heavily on their trucks to come to a complete stop, with balding tires the stopping distance will be much longer.

· Load Security: The way cargo is loaded into a commercial vehicle greatly affects its safety. Uneven loads can force a semi-truck to roll over, and trucks that are overweight may be unable to stop safely.

· Brakes: A semi-truck with faulty brakes is a catastrophe waiting to happen. Therefore, police officers are inspecting brake systems, including air brakes. If these systems have any mechanical deficiencies, serious fines will be imposed, and can put the
truck out of service until the issues are corrected.

· Windshields: No one will deny that a commercial truck takes a serious beating on a day-to-day basis, and it is likely that a cracked windshield will happen. However, that crack cannot obscure the driver’s field of vision or be too significant. If so, the company or driver will be cited. Therefore, make sure all windshields are crack-free and repair any chips in the glass as soon as possible to avoid costly cracks.

These are just some of the areas being inspected for commercial vehicles. Note, if your truck looks as though it is in a state of disrepair, you will automatically be pulled over and the truck inspected. Therefore, it is best to inspect your fleet, maintain the trucks, and take care of any repairs immediately before putting vehicles back into operation.

Attend a Truck Driving School in Vancouver Today
Increasingly, the police are taking commercial trucking safety seriously. Make sure your drivers are ready for the road by having them attend truck driving courses at a reputed Vancouver driving school.

North Shore Driving School, Ltd. offers commercial lessons at our West Vancouver driving school. Courses include Class 1, 3, and 4 training, air brake courses, professional driver improvement, and we also offer skill upgrading and private lessons.

Call our Truck Division in Burnaby for your commercial license classes at 604-299-9292, or connect with our Car Division in North Vancouver by calling 604-988-1138. You can also contact a representative online with your questions about our truck driving schools, serving Vancouver, Langley, Surrey, and the surrounding areas.

Everything You Must Know to Get into the Vancouver Trucking Industry

Getting into the trucking industry is exciting, but you must be adequately prepared for the challenge. If you are seeking a new career opportunity, you might want to get into the Vancouver trucking industry while it is still ripe.

Canada’s economy relies on the trucking industry. In fact, in statistics updated in 2012, trucks transported 64 million shipments with more than 650 million tonnes of cargo approximately 40.7 billion kilometres, according to the BC Trucking Association (BCTA).

Critical Facts to Know about the Vancouver Trucking Industry for Newcomers

You are excited about the opportunities in today’s trucking industry in British Columbia. However, becoming a driver today requires that you pass a set list of stringent requirements and training before you can get a job. To help you get a jumpstart on your new career, consider the following requirements and facts:

· Driver’s License: To drive a truck in British Columbia, you must have a Class 5 driver’s license from the ICBC. Then, you can upgrade your passenger license to a Class 1 or Class 3 commercial license. To upgrade, you must visit an ICBC licensing
office, provide identification, meet the required medical standards, meet the minimum age requirements, successfully complete the knowledge test for your Class 1 or Class 3 Learner’s License, complete on road training then successfully pass the appropriate ICBC road test. Also, you must have a history of driving experience in a class 5,6 acceptable by ICBC.

· Clean Driving Record: You must have an acceptable driving record to upgrade to your commercial license. No more than 4 offences that carry penalty points in the previous two years, zero motor-vehicle-related Criminal Code convictions in the previous three years,

· Age: To become a licensed commercial truck operator, you must be 18 years old minimum for a Class 3 or heavy trailer endorsement. For a Class 1, 2 or 4, you must be 19 years old.

· Medical Test: ICBC requires a medical examination when applying for your commercial license. You will complete the medical examination on a scheduled basis. Keep in mind that the tests are completed by a physician and at your expense.

· Criminal Record: In addition to a clean driving record, you must have zero motor-vehicle-related Criminal convictions in the previous two years. With any criminal convictions, your chances of being hired by future employers are limited.

· Truck Driving Training: Established Langley driving schools offer truck driving training to teach you the essentials. Even if you have driven a semi-truck before, refresher courses teach you the latest in air brake technology and safety. To
get your commercial license, you must take the appropriate knowledge test, and complete a commercial vehicle on road training. If you plan to drive a truck equipped with air brakes, you must also complete the air brake knowledge test and complete an airbrake training class approved by the ICBC.

· Regulations and Requirements: Commercial truck drivers must follow the National Safety Code hours of service rules. For example, you cannot drive more than 13 hours in a 24 hour period.

Learn the Rules of the Road by Attending our Truck Driving School Serving Langley, Coquitlam, Vancouver & the Surrounding Area

If you are ready to venture into an exciting and rewarding career field, you must first go through the proper training and obtain the required license.

The Truck Division at North Shore Driving School, Ltd. offers truck driving training for Coquitlam, Richmond, Surrey, and surrounding cities.

To get a job as a commercial driver, you must complete the proper coursework, driving hours, and take the ICBC road test. With our courses, we help you increase the chances you will succeed and be able to start your new career.

Call our Truck Division in Burnaby for lessons by calling 604-299-9292, or connect with our Car Division serving exclusively North Vancouver by calling 604-988-1138. You can also contact a representative online with your questions about which driving course is right for you.

How to Safely Report an Impaired Driver: Advice from a North Shore Driving School

Impaired drivers are a problem across Canada, and they put the public at serious risk of injuries and fatalities. If you see a driver whom you suspect to be intoxicated on the road, it is your duty as a motorist and a citizen to report the behavior. Reporting such activity swiftly could save lives, and it could prevent you from getting in an auto accident. Drunk driving, in particular, causes many preventable injuries and deaths every year. By taking note of what you see and letting the authorities know about it, you can help to reduce the number of auto accidents in BC and make local roads safer for everyone.

Pointers from a Driving School on Identifying and Reporting an Impaired Driver 

It’s important to know how to detect possible impairment in a fellow driver. It’s also essential to know how to inform the authorities of your suspicion. Here are a few tips from your local driving school in Coquitlam:

  • Drunk Driving Happens Around the Clock: Keep in mind that drunk driving happens at all times of the day and night. In fact, up to 25 percent of drunk driving violations may take place during normal business hours. 
  • What to Look for: You can train yourself to look for some of the most common indications of impaired driving. Those signs include very wide turns, weaving in and out of lanes, and inconsistent or extreme speeds. Another sign is stopping conspicuously soon before reaching a stop sign or traffic light. Other behaviors to look for include driving with no headlights, failing to heed traffic signs and lights, and aggressive driving. 
  • Know What to Do: If you see someone who appears to be inebriated while driving, you should act quickly if possible. However, you should never jeopardize your own ability to drive safely. If you can, you should try to make a note of the license plate number. Also, note the colour, make, and model of the vehicle. If you are able to see the driver, try to take note of his or her physical description and demeanour. Pay attention to the direction in which the suspected drunk driver is traveling. 
  • Call the Police: Once you have noted as much identifying information as you can, pull over to the side of the road. Call 911, and give the local authorities all of the details you were able to gather. 

Take a Defensive Driving Course from north shore Driving School

Defensive driving is a skill that could help you to avoid an auto accident in BC. North Shore Driving School is one of the best driving schools. Our instructors will teach you to drive defensively, so you may avoid getting in a collision whenever possible. Unfortunately, an impaired driver can endanger even the most capable and confident of motorists. If you suspect that a motorist is driving while drunk, don’t hesitate to call the police.

The North Shore Driving School Car Division in North Vancouver is at 1821 Lonsdale Ave, and the number is 604-988-1138. Our Truck Division is in Burnaby at 2990 Norland Ave, and the number is 604-299-9292. You may also contact us online to inquire about our services in Coquitlam, Langley, and Abbotsford.