The real purpose of drivers education goes beyond just learning enough to get one’s driving license. That is just an initial level of qualification.
I’m not talking here about different grades of licenses, i.e. for buses and trucks, although those are other levels one can go to.
What I’m talking about is becoming the best driver one can be. Adopt a mindset that the learning is never done. Drivers education, once started, is a life long course.
After 30+ years of full time professional driving I still try to observe my driving and what’s going on around me with an eye on what I can learn.
For example, if I find myself reacting emotionally to other drivers or traffic in general, I know that I am not focused.
Focused driving is of the utmost importance to someone like myself that believes that I can drive safely at all times, no matter what the circumstances. Focus equals safety.
New drivers can get some important information about schools, courses and instructors at the Driving School Association of Ontario. This link, and the other two below, open in new windows so I’ll still be here when you get back.
Senior drivers can also look forward to specific information for their concerns. We have all come to love the independence we get from being able to drive our cars. I know many seniors who fear losing this independence as the years go by.
Here’s an example of software out there that helps to train your brain. I haven’t tried this product yet but found their questionnaire interesting in how it has you look at your weak spots.
Here’s an example of this ‘self-applied’ drivers education that can help new and senior drivers alike. This link will open in a new window so I’ll still be here when you’re done there.
Go to the Young Drivers site and click on the red ‘View the CogniFit Demo on the left top corner of the page.
Follow the instructions for a simple testing of some basic yet necessary skills.
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Browse through these easy car maintenance tips. Use them to guide you in maintaining your vehicle for greater savings and longer life. You will become more confident as your understanding grows. You may notice this the next time you need to talk to a mechanic.
Here’s a trick to use to track maintenance and repairs. Get a 3 ring binder. Every time you do a repair or maintenance job get a receipt. Run it through a 3 hole punch and insert into the binder. You now have an automatic record, with the mileage and detail of each repair for the life of your car. You’ll also have added value and credibility if you should sell your vehicle. Explore the links below interests you. Enjoy your browsing.
Your basic car maintenance tips include…
Check Tire Pressure Regularly To Increase Your Safety and Savings
Low tire pressure, especially a visibly low tire, reduces your tire’s tread life. It also reduces your driving comfort and safety. Learn more tire safety tips here.
Learn Simple Battery Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Battery Working Longer
Practice proper battery maintenance to prevent unexpected breakdowns. Here are some simple steps you can take to keep your battery working for you for a long time.
Clean Up That Battery Corrosion. It’s Easy, Safe And Pays Big Dividends
Here is the most effective cleaning method I’ve ever used on car battery corrosion. Step by step instructions, with photos, are included to help you get the job done right.
Make Your Windshield Wipers Last Longer With Better Visibility. Learn more…
With a little care your windshield wipers will last and do a good job of keeping your windshield clear. Here’s some tips you can use to take better care of your wiper blades.
Check Exterior Car Lights Regularly. Visibility Equals Safety On The Road
Check exterior car lights during your driving normal time. Here’s some simple tricks you can use to develop your ability to notice when you have a light out.
Car Brakes, When You Use Them Properly, Help Reduce Driving Costs
‘My car brakes last a lot longer when I don’t use them!’ is what I often, jokingly, tell my mechanic. Learn how you too can save on brakes and still be safe.
You will find your ride becomes more enjoyable as you apply and learn from using these car maintenance tips. As your knowledge of how your car works grows, so will your confidence. This will be apparent to mechanics as your questions and descriptions become more specific. You’ll speak more confidently to mechanics as you have been doing the work of observing your vehicle. You’ll answer their questions easier. And the ones you can’t answer will give you some ideas of what else you should be checking on your car. As your knowledge grows you will start becoming aware of issues and how to address them before you need a tow truck.
These ideas on tire care are about how you can treat your tires better through your driving. You’ll get a smoother ride and your tires will last longer. The most important tire care step you can take is to keep your tires properly inflated. This is covered, in detail, on the tire pressure page..
When parking along a curb or driving in construction sites, avoid piles of debris which could be hiding nails and other sharp objects. Another reason leaks develop in tires, other than age, are impacts on the tire. This could be from an unavoidable pothole, or hitting a curb.
If you do hit a major pothole or have some other intense impact on your tires, check the tires visually as soon as possible. If any new or unusual vibration or shaking results, have your mechanic check for damage or do another alignment. Make sure to check the tire pressure at the start of the next day’s driving. When parallel parking, back in slowly and do your best to avoid hitting the curb. If you do hit it while moving slowly, chances are you will not break the seal and cause a leak.
Turn your wheel toward the curb on a hill. Park touching the curb without distorting the tire or squashing it into the rim.
For more on tires, browse through the links below.
Check Tire Pressure Regularly To Increase Your Safety and Savings
Low tire pressure, especially a visibly low tire, reduces your tire’s tread life. It also reduces your driving comfort and safety. Learn more tire safety tips here…
A Spare Tire Is A Temporary Fix. For Safety Return To Trunk ASAP
A space saver spare tire is not designed for long term use. It can cause extra wear and unsafe over-steering issues. High speed and long distances should be avoided.
Before Buying Tires Use Tire Testing Results To Help Make Your Decision
Buying tires need not be a guessing game. Use a trusted source for information to compare tires. Choose which tire then use price and customer service to choose where to buy.
The car repairs I refer to here are those so-called ’emergency’ breakdowns that happen. Very few of those should actually happen. Most items that can break and stop you in your tracks can be detected before they break.
Suspension items, like shocks and springs, can be regularly checked for leaks, wear or cracks. Steering items like tie-rods, linkage arms and steering boxes will give wear signals to an alert driver.
Tire wear will also indicate a problem though that takes time to show up. As I’ve said elsewhere, report any unusual shakes, noises or changes in handling qualities to your mechanic as soon as they occur. Always ask for an inspection when your car goes for regular maintenance, though the best garages will do this for you.
Don’t be shy about making the noise you hear to your mechanic. Also let him know when it occurs (i.e. during braking, on right turns only, etc) Being aware of how your car functions and not ignoring something because ‘it’s just the car getting old’ will let you avoid most of those ’emergency repairs’ and keep you off the tow truck.
A word about warning lights…for most issues it’s not a warning so much as a ‘Too Late!’
Many tips for better gas mileage offer improvements measurable more by theory than actual numbers. Real world driving is not done in a scientifically controlled environment.
It is a given that one needs to start with a vehicle that is properly tuned and running well. The next step to better fuel economy is maintaining a steady speed over a distance.
Driving according to weather and traffic conditions is the basic rule of safe driving. That also gives one the correct context for looking for safe ways to maintain a steady speed over the greatest distance.
With safety and better mileage as your top priorities, your driving will evolve to support those goals.
As you focus on the context of driving for savings you will find areas other than fuel savings that are affected by your new driving style.
For instance, I chuckled when my mechanic said that the average life of a set of brakes was around 45,000 kilometres (28,000 miles). I got 46,000 km on my first set of brakes on my used Lincoln, which had over 50% wear left on the brakes on purchase.
On my next two sets I got around 70,000 kms (45,000 miles). I’m aiming to bump that to 100,000 kms (60,000 miles). Now that’s a game worth playing.
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These driving tips will help improve driving, avoid accidents and reduce driving costs. I even learned that becoming a safe driver can actually be fun and very satisfying. I also get a lot of compliments.
These driving tips were tested and adopted over 30 years as a full-time Professional Driver in my home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Browse through the links below. Then use my virtual driver, James, to take you to ‘home’. You’ll find him at the bottom of all the pages except this one.
Following are some of the topics I will be covering and more will be added as the site grows. Enjoy your visit.
Do you know how to avoid accidents? All accidents?
Driving is like a ‘dance’. Learn to use your mirrors and your peripheral vision to see the ‘dance’ around you. Then any motion across or against the flow gets your attention even before you identify it. This gives you the time to respond without disturbing the flow around you. And you get to stay in ‘the dance’.
Do you know how to communicate with other drivers on the road?
You are on the road with other people, not just a bunch of cars. Communicate with a turn signal, a wave, a nod or a flash of lights. This makes for a safer ride because you are letting others know you noticed them. Practice these and you can drop the infamous, rude salutes.
Do you know how to find a mechanic you can trust?
Auto repairs can be costly. This is especially true when you delay a repair because you don’t feel you have anyone you can trust. By putting off repairs, though, you risk higher cost, other wear and tear or even safety on the road for yourself and others. I will share what has worked for me in finding trustworthy mechanics.
It’s a game! You play it while driving. Focus on a few numbers and find yourself driving differently. You will lower your fuel consumption. You will also lower your repair costs and extend the life of your car. More about this in the ‘Fuel Saving Tips’ section.
These driving tips will put you in charge behind the wheel.
Benefit from my 30 years of full-time driving experience. Boost your confidence. Be ready for anything on the road. Explore this site. Study these driving tips. Then come back again as I add stuff regularly.
As always drive safe, drive smart and…
My name is Casey Kinney. One thing about me, even at a very young age growing up on a farm, was a fascination with how tractors could run on liquid. This was before I knew that there were many different kinds of liquids.
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