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!

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!

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.

Overview of the New Wheel Chain Regulations for B.C. Truck Drivers

Last November, the provincial government introduced more extensive regulations around the mandatory use of chains and other traction devices by commercial vehicles.

These rules came into effect October 1 and truck drivers who fail to comply with them will face stiff fines. In this article, we provide a comprehensive overview of the new regulations.

The new rules around wheel chains

Previously, only trucks that weighed more than 27,000 kg were required to carry and use traction devices, and only one wheel needed to be chained during mandatory chain ups. Regulations around traction devices are now more stringent and extend to less heavy vehicles.

  • Commercial vehicles weighing over 11,794 (such as semi-trucks) must carry steel chains on most major highways from October 1 to April 30. During mandatory chain ups, between two to six tires need to be chained up, depending on the vehicle configuration. The installation directions for different vehicle configurations are presented in this infographic from the provincial government.
  • Commercial vehicles weighing between 5,000 kg and 11,794 kg (such as buses or 5-ton trucks) that aren’t equipped with appropriate winter tires must carry chains or other acceptable traction devices (cable chains, automatic tire chains, wheel sanders and textile tire covers) from October 1 to April 30. During mandatory chain ups, if the vehicle doesn’t have winter tires, two of the wheels need to be equipped with traction devices. Refer to the infographic to learn where the traction devices need to be placed.

Fines for noncompliance

Previously, truck drivers faced a fine of $121 for not carrying or installing chains when the law required it. As of October 1, fines of $196 are imposed for not carrying chains or other traction devices during the period of October 1 to April 30. And fines of $598 are imposed for driving without chains or other traction devices during mandatory chain ups.

The reason for the new regulations

The majority of highway closures during winter are caused by commercial trucks. For example, during the winter of 2017 to 2018, they caused 33 of the 35 closures on the Coquihalla Highway. In most cases the truck either didn’t have chains on or the chains were poorly installed, and this was one of the key factors in the incident. Following the introduction of the new regulations, this figure dropped to nine. Now that the regulations are being enforced, we can reasonably expect to see even fewer such accidents.

Commercial truck driving school serving Burnaby and Coquitlam

At North Shore Driving School, our professional truck driving school provides you with the training you need to be a better, safer truck driver. To learn more about our courses, contact us today.0

5 tips for staying safe when driving in the rain

According to Transport Canada, over 25,000 people were injured in traffic collisions due to wet pavement in 2016, and difficult weather is becoming increasingly common every year. Follow these five tips to ensure you and your passengers stay safe when driving in wet conditions.

1. Focus 

Rainy weather alters most aspects of driving. Visibility is reduced, your vehicle reacts more slowly and other drivers are more unpredictable. Avoid distractions and stay focused on what’s going on around you.

2. Turn on your headlights
Headlights allow you to see the road better and make you more visible to other drivers. Moreover, it’s illegal to drive without headlights on in low visibility conditions anywhere in Canada.

3. Beware of aquaplaning
Aquaplaning, also known as hydroplaning, happens when a layer of water builds up between the road and your tires, causing them to lose traction. This can lead you to lose control of your vehicle. All it takes for aquaplaning to occur is one-fifth of a centimetre of water on the road and a speed of about 55 km/h.

If you start to hydroplane, take your foot off the gas pedal and maintain a straight course until you regain control. Avoid hitting the brakes as this can cause your car to spin. If your car does start spinning, turn in the direction you’re spinning. Fight the instinct to jerk the steering wheel in the opposite direction, as it could cause your car to flip over.

4. Turn off your cruise control
Using cruise control to maintain a steady speed may seem like a good idea when driving on slick roads, but it’s actually dangerous. First, the system’s sensors could be affected by the dampness. Second, cruise control could, ironically, make it more difficult to control your car

5. Slow down
The speed limits posted along the road assume optimal driving conditions, meaning low traffic, good visibility and favourable weather. Rain reduces visibility and slows down your car’s reaction time, so make sure to ease up on the gas when driving in the rain. You should also maintain a greater following distance from other cars.

Pick the right driving school

Whether you’re learning how to drive or upgrading your skills, picking the right truck driving school is important. With a service area that includes Surrey and Coquitlam, North Shore Driving School is a great choice for people residing on the Lower Mainland. Contact us today to find out more about our programs.

How to stay healthy when you’re on the road

For many truckers, life on the road is synonymous with limited exercise, a poor diet, long hours and mental health struggles due to isolation and lack of routine. As a result, truckers are more likely to develop health problems and on average have a lower life expectancy than the general population. Here’s what you can do to stay healthy while you’re on the road.

Modify your diet

Poor eating habits have been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and digestive cancers. Ideally, you should aim to replace fast food, fatty snacks and sugary drinks with healthy alternatives. However, you don’t need to do it all at once. Start by snacking on fruits and vegetables, then progressively integrate healthier proteins such as fish and poultry to your diet. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

Stay active
Spending all of your time sitting increases your risk of developing cardiovascular issues. Try to take regular breaks to stretch and walk around and maybe do simple exercises like push-ups. You should also aim to get at least 150 minutes of cardio a week, but even 10 to 15 minutes a day is beneficial. Again, start small and work your way up. Some companies even offer wellness programs that provide support and keep you motivated.

Ease up on the stimulants
While one or two cups of coffee a day aren’t dangerous for otherwise healthy people, excessive caffeine consumption should be avoided, especially in the form of energy drinks. These contain very high concentrations of both sugar and caffeine and are likely to disrupt your sleep schedule. They may also cause you to become jittery, which can be dangerous when you’re behind the wheel.

Sleep well
A regular sleep schedule will ensure you stay sharp, help your body recuperate and let you retain a sense of routine and stability while on the road. This is key to maintaining your mental health.

Mind your mental health
Isolation, long hours and lack of routine have all been linked to various mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. Many drivers deal with these feelings by adopting unhealthy habits such as smoking or excessive eating. Instead of adopting such behaviours, set aside some time every day to make phone calls to your spouse, family and friends. This will help you feel more grounded and connected.

Build good habits early

Attending the right truck driving school is the first step towards developing good habits that’ll stick with you over the long haul. Serving residents in Surrey, Abbotsford and other parts of the Lower Mainland, North Shore Driving School is a great choice for aspiring truckers. Contact us today to learn more about our driver training programs.

Truck crashes: a step-by-step guide

Traffic collisions can unsettle any trucker, no matter how experienced. Having a solid accident response plan is the best way to prevent further damage and injuries and ensure everyone’s safety until emergency responders arrive. Here’s a step-by-step guide for what do to in case of a crash.

1. Stop. Even if the accident seems minor, there’s no way to know for sure unless you stop and exit your truck. This is the only way to assess the damage to your rig and to the other vehicles involved. If you’re transporting hazardous materials, driving on could be extremely dangerous. 

2. Turn on your hazard lights. Before stepping out of the truck, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers that there’s been an incident. This way, they’ll steer clear and give you enough room to inspect the damage and check on the other drivers.

3. Move out of the way, if possible. Move out of the way of oncoming traffic, provided you’re able to do so safely. If such a manoeuvre seems dangerous, don’t. Your priority is to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

4. Check on other drivers and passengers. Once you’ve stopped and turned on your hazard lights or moved to a safe spot, exit the cab and check on the other people involved in the accident. Make sure nobody is seriously injured.

5. Call 911. Even if there aren’t any serious injuries, your next step should be to call the police. Traffic collisions sometimes cause injuries that aren’t immediately apparent. In addition, everyone should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

6. Set up emergency signals. Once emergency responders are on the way, set up things like warning triangles if you have them. This further ensures that everyone is safe until help arrives.

7. Inspect your rig. While you wait for help, make sure your truck and its cargo are in good shape. This is especially important if you’re transporting hazardous materials.

8. Report the incident. Contact your insurance company or, if applicable, your employer to report the incident.

9. Don’t assign blame. Don’t try to determine who was at fault. There are more important things for everyone to worry about.

Truck driving school in British Columbia
To ensure you receive a solid education, trust the instructors at North Shore Driving School. We offer programs to people living on the Lower Mainland, including Coquitlam, Richmond and Vancouver. Contact us today to find out how we can help you get your Class 1 licence or polish off your truck driving skills.

Spring is here! Is it time to switch your winter tires?

Spring is a time of change, and that includes your vehicle’s tires. To improve your vehicle’s performance and keep your passengers safe no matter what the road conditions are, it’s essential to have the right tires for the job. Once spring starts springing, you should switch over your tires from winter to all-season or summer versions.

At North Shore Driving School, we’re advocates of safe driving education. Here are a few reasons you should put changing your vehicle’s tires on your spring to-do list.

How are summer tires different from winter ones?
To the untrained eye, most tires look pretty similar. Despite appearances, winter tires are significantly different from summer or all-season tires, both in their design and the type of rubber they’re made from.

The deeper treads of winter tires are specifically designed to cut through snow and ice so that your tires can grip the road. They’re made of a special kind of rubber that stays pliable at lower temperatures. Even if it’s freezing cold out, your winter tires will be able to gain traction on icy roads.

All-season and summer tires, on the other hand, are designed with higher temperatures in mind. Although winter tires are great at low temperatures, they become too pliable at higher ones and their rubber can quickly degrade if kept on your car during the summer. All-season tires and summer tires have different treads and rubber that grip the road better when it’s clear of snow and ice. (Don’t be fooled by the name “all-season” tires—they’re not the best choice for the extreme cold of a Canadian winter.)

When is the right moment to change?
There’s no exact perfect moment to change your tires. Every Canadian knows that we usually have to be well into spring before we feel sure that there’s no threat of a cold snap. Although it’s not a good idea to drive on your winter tires all year, they won’t start disintegrating after a few days in the heat. You should keep an eye on the weather forecast and, once you feel confident that there are more warm days than cold ones on the horizon, set up an appointment to have your tires changed.

Knowing best driving practices is essential to keeping you and your loved ones safe on the road. If you’d like to know more about road safety or would like to learn how to drive, contact us for professional lessons at North Shore Driving School today.