Markham Tow Truck Company


Helpful Tips / Driving News


Hot weather tips for your car: Beat the Heat!

 

Summer’s high temperatures can take a toll on everyone – and everything, including your cars or boats. Extreme heat can push a car past its limits, and that can lead to some drivers finding themselves stranded at the roadside. The following tips can help you avoid high summer temperatures.

  • Battery Care: High temperatures and vibration can have a negative effect on your battery. It's good practice to open the hood and have a look at your battery. Ensure that there is no corrosion on the terminals, everything is highly fastened and the fluids are topped up. This will assist on keeping the battery in great shape over the warmer months in Ontario
  • Engine coolant: check the levels so the car won't overheat. Check with your manufacturer regarding when it's time to flush and replace the coolant in your vehicle
  • Tires: During warm temperatures your tires with expand leading to higher pressures. It doesn't take long to grab a gauge and check for the required air tire pressure

 

Ontario's New Distracted Driving Laws

 

The new laws took effect on January 1, 2019. What you need to know:

Drivers convicted of distracted driving under the new laws will be punished with a licence suspension, a hefty fine and demerit points. The severity of the punishment increases with the number of subsequent offences committed:

  • First offence: 3 days suspension and $1,000 fine
  • Second offence: 7 days suspension and $2,000 fine
  • Three or more offences: 30 days suspension, $3,000 fine and six demerit points

Police will not be able to seize driver's licences at roadside. They would have to get the approval of a judge in order to be able to suspend any driver's licences.

Distracted driving is no longer limited to just texting and making phone calls. The Government of Ontario has posted a list of activities that counts as distracted driving and it includes anything from simply holding an electronic device in one's hand to eating while behind the wheel. See the full list below.

  • Simply holding an electronic device in your hands (hand-held communication during driving is against the law)
  • Using a cellular phone to talk, text, check maps or switch playlists
  • Eating (there may not be a licence suspension, but the RCMP warn you could be fined or given six demerits depending on the food)
  • Reading books or documents
  • Typing a destination into the GPS

       

      Why Snow Tires

       

      The Globe & Mail recently wrote a great article on snow tires. You either have snow tires or don't have them... there doesn't seem to be any middle ground. You are a firm believer or don't really think about getting a set. Well we live in Canada so start thinking about getting a set installed before the snow flies.

      In some places like Toronto the snow in less frequent than other places but that doesn't mean you don't need winter tires.

      In a recent survey by the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC), 66 per cent of Canadians said they own winter tires. Provincially, that ranges from a high of 86 per cent in Quebec, where winter tires are required by law, to a low of 48 per cent in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

      So what's the big difference? All season tires are good enough right? Not so fast...

      Sure, winter is a season, but all-season tires are’t designed for the cold. When the temperature drops, rubber tires start to get hard and lose their grip on pavement. What does this mean for you? Well the car takes longer to stop and will slide. Winter tires are made differently that all season tires, they are made with a softer rubber compound, making them way better in the winter.

      No convinced yet? By having a set of winter tires you'll stop faster, have way more trackshion, be able to drive comfortably when it's snowing. Always listen to the radio and stay off the roads when necessary.

       

      What to do if your car needs towing after an accident

       

      It's impossible not to stress or freak out when you've had an accident: you're in shock, so the first thing you need to do is get to safety as quick as possible. Get your car off the road if possible or leave the car and seek a safe place. Then suddenly a tow truck driver arrives to move your car and you're so relieved you could just about hug them.

      Once your in a safe place call for medical help if needed, otherwise call the police and a tow truck. Usually all you need to do is call the police and a tow truck will be on route.

       

      Bicycle Safety - MTO Website information. www.mto.gov.on.ca

       

      Learn more about safe cycling:

      Cycling Skills: Ontario's Guide to Safe Cycling (PDF - 9 MB) : a detailed handbook of rules and safety standards for any rider Young Cyclist's Guide (PDF - 2.83 MB) : a kid-friendly handbook book of cycling safety tips and rules for young riders

      What is a bicycle?

      A bicycle, or bike, is a vehicle that:

      • has one, two or three wheels (a unicycle, bicycle or tricycle)
      • has steering handlebars and pedals
      • does not have a motor. For motor-assisted bikes, read about electric bicycles or scooters and mopeds

      Licence and registration

      Bicycles do not require:

      • registration
      • licence plates
      • vehicle insurance
      • a driver's licence

      People of all ages can ride a bike. Rules of the road

      As a cyclist, you must share the road with others (e.g., cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, etc.).

      Under Ontario's Highway Traffic Act (HTA), a bicycle is a vehicle, just like a car or truck.

      Cyclists:

      • must obey all traffic laws
      • have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers
      • cannot carry passengers - if your bicycle is only meant for one person

      Riding on the right

      You must stay as close to the right edge of the road whenever possible, especially if you're slower than other traffic.

       

      Spring care for your car

       

      After a long Canadian winter, you’re likely ready to go away this spring during March Break. Before you hit the road, you should get your car or truck prepared for spring prior to leaving for your vacation.

      Winter’s cold temperatures and icy conditions have been hard on your car, so it is likely your vehicle are showing some signs of wear and tear. Spring is the perfect time to bring your car in for a full inspection to identify any problems, before they become major ones.

      Here are some tips to keep your car running safely this spring and summer:

      1. Change your oil and oil filter
      2. Check your fluids
      3. Check your charging system (battery)
      4. Fix your windshield (fix any chips)
      5. Check your lighting
      6. Check your belts and hoses
      7. Check your filters
      8. Check your tires

       

      What to do if your car won't start in cold weather

       

      To prevent starting issues in cold weather, there are a few things you can do to help your car start on those very cold winter days.

      Car batteries are made better and better every year, having said that; car batteries produce less electrical current when it’s cold, due to the chemical reaction being slower than on a warm day. On those cold Canadian winter days, batteries simply don’t produce the same amount of power as warm batteries, and this effect can lead to starting issues. If you live in a cold weather environment, a block heater is a must.

      When it’s cold, engine oil becomes thicker and does’t flow around the engine as well. This means it’s more difficult to pump through the engine block, placing additional strain on the battery. This is another reason to get a block heater installed in your car or truck. If the battery is already low on power, this can result in a non-starter.

      In the rare event that there’s moisture in the fuel lines, this can freeze and cause a fuel blockage, meaning the engine won’t start. This is particularly common in the fuel lines, which are thin and easily blocked by ice. And as for diesel drivers, bear in mind that diesel ‘gels’ in the cold, meaning it will take longer to deliver power to the engine on start-up. To help with this potential issue, keep your gas tank full during the winter months.

       

      Things you need to know before you tow

       

      • Know you rating: It’s important to be aware of the capability of your truck or car. Car manufactures are notoriously secretive about true towing figures to avoid conforming to a standardized metric that would make for easy comparison against competitors
      • Hitching up it's important to properly hookup your trailer. Be sure to double check and triple check all of the chains, lights and any other safety cables
      • Check you lights Make is a habit to do a walk around and check all of the trailer lights, not only is it safe but it will also help you avoid any tickets

      Bill 213 Will It Work?

       

      Ontario Provincial Police break down crash statistics into the Big Four: distracted driving, speed, seat belt usage and alcohol and drugs. So far for 2017, they’ve reported an 80 per cent increase over last year in a category that seems to want to bully its way into the big leagues: aggressive driving.

      In 2016, OPP reported “65 people died in OPP-investigated collisions last year in which an inattentive driver was either a contributing factor or the primary cause of the death. In comparison to the other Big Four categories, 2016 ended with 55 speed-related, 53 seat belt-related and 45 alcohol-related deaths.”

      That would make distracted – hey you, put down the phone – the big one. But current numbers have police scrambling to contain a growing phenomenon, the aggressive drivers. Up from 15 fatalities all of last year to 27 just to this date, police are quick to point out we haven’t officially entered summer, the dangerous, silly season of people driving over their heads

      This story was recently reported by www.driving.ca website

      for complete information regarding Bill 213 visit the Ontario Governments website.