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January 2, 2018

TEXTING WHILE DRIVING GETTING WORSE

Over 80 per cent of Canadians think that testing and driving is a bigger problem than it was three years ago, according to a poll by the Canadian Automobile Association.

"Despite anti-texting and driving laws in all provinces across the country and several years of public education campaigns, Canadians still don't seem to be getting the message," said Jeff Walker, Chief Strategy Officer, CAA National.

Nearly all (96 per cent) of respondents believe that those who text and drive are a threat to their personal safety on the road. Also, according to the poll, texting and driving is tied with drunk driving as the number one road safety concern for Canadians.

"Studies show drivers are as much as 23 times more likely to get into a collision when they text and drive," says Walker. "It's important we all put our devices down and stay focused on the road."

Other forms of distraction that Canadians think are an issue, according to the poll, are: emailing while driving, talking on cell phones while driving, and talking to/engaging with their in-car technologies while driving.

CAA conducted the poll in November 2017 with 2,003 Canadians.



December 14, 2017

TOYOTA ENHANCES SAFETY SENSE

Toyota has unveiled its second generation of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) set to be standard equipment on some vehicles beginning in middle of 2018.

Technologies on TSS that are new or updated include: Pre-Collision System is updated and has enhanced deceleration capabilities and can detect a collision with a pedestrian in front of the vehicle day or night, as well as a bicyclist in front of the vehicle during the day.

Lane Departure Alert is updated and now features “road edge detection” helping to keep the vehicle in its lane. Lane Tracing Assist is new, it provides steering support to help the vehicle centered in its lane when Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is on.

Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is updated and now features enhanced forward recognition and acceleration/deceleration performance at different speeds. It is not available on manual transmission or convention parking brake equipped vehicles. Auto high beam is also part of the TSS package.

TSS-C and TSS-P are currently available on certain models.



November 20, 2017

WINTER TIRES GAIN TRACTION

According to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC), winter tire shipments are up four per cent (annualized rate) over the last five years. This makes winter tires the fastest growing category of tires.

In turn, according to TRAC's 2017 Canadian Consumer Winter Tire Study, conducted by Leger, 66 per cent of Canadian use winter tires (taking Quebec out of the equation, that number drops to 60 per cent overall).

"Despite increasing winter tire usage, educating drivers about the safety benefits of winter tires remains critical to making our roads safer in winter," says Glenn Maidment, president of TRAC. "The fact that four-in-ten motorists outside Quebec are not using winter tires puts at risk everyone who drives in cold-weather conditions – regardless of whether the road surface is dry, snow-covered or icy. Every motorist needs to understand winter tires radically outperform all-seasons in all cold-weather driving conditions."

Usage rates in various provinces are: British Columbia (60 per cent), Alberta (57 per cent), Ontario (59 per cent), Atlantic Canada (83 per cent), and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (48 per cent). For those who choose not to use winter tires, top reasons were: all-season tires have enough traction (51 per cent), reduced driving in winter (22 per cent), and cost (21 per cent).

"Research by the Quebec government shows that, since the winter tire law was enacted, the province saw a significant decrease in injury accidents in the province," says Maidment. "Imagine the massive reduction in vehicle damage and personal suffering during the winter driving season across Canada if all drivers protected themselves and their families with winter tires."



August 31, 2017

INATTENTIVE DRIVING A GROWING CONCERN

According to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), inattentive driving has caused more collisions on OPP-patrolled roads in 2017 than speeding and alcohol/drug related collisions combined.

"Our collision data is compelling evidence that drivers who text, talk on their cell phone or are distracted in some other way, take a tremendous toll on the safety of those who share the road with them. Public complacency about inattentive driving can be just as dangerous as the behaviour itself. Until drivers, passengers and the general public take a firm stand against this road safety issue, these tragedies are expected to continue in large numbers on our roads,'' said J.V.N. (Vince) Hawkes, OPP Commissioner.

This year, 6,360 road collisions have been primarily caused by driver inattention, speeding was the primary cause in 4,700 collisions, and 1,158 collisions were caused by those who used alcohol or drugs. In all 47 people have died this year as a result of an inattentive driver; at this time last year the total was 39.

"This long weekend, it is important that we remind ourselves of the dangers of distracted driving. On the road, please remember to put down the phone and focus your full attention on safe driving," said Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.



August 8, 2017

NISSAN INTRODUCES REAR DOOR ALERT


Nissan will introduce the rear door alert feature as standard equipment on its 2018 Nissan Pathfinder, and will be introduced on other Nissan models in the future.

"The idea is if you open a rear door, whether to put a child or a package in the rear seat, the vehicle will help alert you when you get to your destination that you may want to check the rear seat," said Marlene Mendoza, Mechanical Engineer. "We've built in enough time that you don't have to rush, but if you don't open the rear door again when you get out of the vehicle, we want you to think for a moment about what you may have put in the back seat."

The system monitors rear door switches to detect their open/closed status before and after a trip. If the system detects that a door was open/closed before a trip but not once a trip is complete, it will give notifications (message in instrument panel and chirps of the horn). The system is configurable and can be turned off.

"The Rear Door Alert uses a similar honking cue that has been proven successful with Nissan's Easy Fill Tire Alert," said Elsa Foley, Industrial Engineer. "By drawing your attention back to the vehicle, once you've walked away, you are more likely to recheck the back seat than with a visual alert alone."



June 12, 2017

NISSAN MAKES AUTOMATIC EMERGENCY BRAKING STANDARD ON BEST SELLERS


Automatic Emergency Braking will become standard equipment on eight 2018 Nissan models.

“The big news here is that we’re making AEB standard across all grades of our best-selling models,” said Bert Brooks, Senior Manager, Product Planning, Nissan Canada, Inc. "This increased AEB availability is part of our ongoing commitment to help reduce fatalities while realizing our comprehensive vision of Nissan Intelligent Mobility."

Rogue, Altima, Murano, LEAF, Pathfinder, Armada, Maxima and Sentra (not including manual transmission models and NISMO models) will offer AEB.

AEB monitors vehicles ahead and gives warnings (sound and visual) to the driver if the potential for a frontal collision is detected, if the driver initiates no response, the vehicle can apply the brakes.



January 3, 2017

FOUR OF 10 CANADIANS DON'T THINK WINTER TIRES NEEDED

Four out of 10 Canadians don't think that winter tires are necessary according to a national survey by OK Tire through Maru/Matchbox.

"Your tires are your only point of contact with the road so making sure you have the right ones on your vehicle is paramount to your safety," says Darryl Croft, OK Tire Etobicoke. Many don't realize all-season tires are not designed for cold weather. Winter tires offer the best traction when it comes to handling, and braking in temperatures below 7°C."

Other survey findings included:
-45 per cent of men and 38 per cent of woman feel all-season tires are enough for winter;
-47 per cent of those aged 18 to 34 and 41 per cent of those aged 35-54, were concerned with safety of all-season tires;
-62 per cent of those in Atlantic Canada said all-season tires are not safe throughout winter;
-51 per cent of those in Alberta and 56 per cent of those in Manitoba believe all-season tires are safe to keep on their vehicles all winter.



December 13, 2016

IIHS NAMES TOP SAFETY PICK AWARD WINNERS

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has named 38 models to its Top Safety Pick+ and 44 models to its Top Safety Pick awards.

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