Black November needs your extra attention

Remembrance Day reminder to change your tires for road safety sakeNovember has two major annual events: Remembrance Day, and the increasingly popular Black Friday. Poppies have long been worn to honour and respect the service and sacrifice of men and women of Canada’s military. Black Friday, on the other hand, only recently migrated north and morphed into a full month of bargain hunting.

Both, we suggest, have something to do with road safety.

Remembrance Day Reminder

The poppy became quite controversial this year. But there should be no debate over the need for winter tires. Switch when temperatures drop to about 7 degrees (7°C), say safety and rubber experts. Handling, traction and stopping distances are all improved. And you need four, not just two, winter-rated on every type of vehicle.

Transport Canada the Rubber Tire Association of Canada and the Automobile Protection Agency teamed up for a series on winter tires a road safety necessity from November to April

Why winter tires? Video Courtesy: Transport Canada, Rubber Tire Association of Canada and Automobile Protection Agency

This is a series of winter tire videos created by Transport Canada, the Automobile Protection Agency and the Rubber Industry Association. They are from 2007, but the message is still true today:

Snow tires are key to safety in winter.

November is prime time to put on your snows. Do it. Cold weather can creep up on us. Some deny the inevitable is coming. When exactly winter hits gets more unpredictable, but Canadians must accept it’s coming. It can be a slow stealthy, or a blast before you even put away your summer sandals, as many Torontonians found out when the city received a record-setting early 20 cm snowfall on Remembrance Day, November 11, 2019.

Why not make it a habit to use the annual cue of Remembrance Day to make an appointment with your tire guy? Maybe you will even find some on sale during Black Friday season. Before you shop, read the APA 2019-2020 winter tire guide.

Safety is the new Black

Signs are everywhere: “Sale!”, “Deals” or “Free Shipping” notifications constantly slide across our screens, land in your inbox or mailbox. In the Retail Council of Canada’s 2019 Holiday Shopping Survey, Black Friday is now bigger than Boxing Day in Canada. Saving while shopping for holiday gifts is the reason 43 percent of Canadians plan to participate this year, ten percent more than those who plan to shop on Boxing Day.

Alas, we did not see tires as one of the top ten categories consumers plan to spend about C$792 this year. Guess what the #1 consideration was when choosing a retailer to shop? Free shipping.

Go ahead shop, but one thing you should not discount is road safety. Consider taking the path less traveled. Buy winter tires! Besides, tires are black and road safety concerns are never out of fashion.

If you shop before December 15, you can take advantage of the APA list of winter tire discounts available. Tell your skeptical friends and family when you are shopping for your new treads: Safety is the new Black! It’s a bargain at any price. Maybe you will even start a new trend with your new tire tracks.

Special Delivery

Black Friday delivery drivers need to treat road safety with as much attention as the fragile Handle with Care packages they are delivering in NovemberAlong with Black Friday sales comes an army of delivery trucks. They have a lot of miles to cover and same-day or next-day deadlines too. Expect more delivery truck traffic, especially around schools and residential streets. Large parked vehicles can make it difficult for children to see and be seen, and navigate around.

Drivers for Amazon, Canada Post, UPS or FedEX, we urge you to do your duty and deliver with care. Drive as if “fragile” is marked on every pedestrian or cyclist.

Every year after the clocks ‘fall back’, there is less daylight, and Black Friday frenzy is upon us. It is time to reset everyone’s road safety game. Up your attention at the wheel. Park legally. Pedestrians and cyclists: watch for delivery vehicles, and make yourself visible at night. Black November needs your extra attention on the road.

Disturbing Data

Toronto Police Service Traffic Collsion data by typeNews of  troubling data from the Toronto Police Service have us even more concerned for road safety this month.

Released in November, Toronto’s Chief of Police, Mark Saunders, issued an update on traffic statistics. The trend of fatal or serious injuries is going in the wrong direction. Pedestrians are most at risk.

We all have a role to play to turn this around. Learn from the awesome determination of our military forces who have shown again and again how every single person contributes to the success of a mission. Do not delay putting on your winter tires, or be distracted by Black Friday shopping. Whether you are a delivery driver looking for a delivery address, a pedestrian looking at your phone while crossing the street, or a shopper rushing to a early store opening. No deal is worth a collision or injury.

Rain, sleet, and snow will arrive, much to most Canadian’s dismay in November. Instead of a New Year’s Resolution – they usually fail anyway –  why not make a November resolution to refresh your road safety habits? Drivers: get your vehicle ready. Cyclists and pedestrians: obey the traffic signals, make yourselves more visible. Can it really hurt to add some reflective patches to outerwear and backpacks so you can be seen better at night?

We urgTrimtag BE ALERT road safety reflective products for school age children and prioritizes pedestrian and cycling safetye everyone to think about prevention. When it comes to road safety, we can all help put those terrible numbers in reverse. Be Alert. Drive with care. Be seen. If your tire company, retailer or consumer advocacy group wants to get the word out about winter tires, get in touch. We have created our own Be Alert child-friendly products including reflective stickers and patches. We can also customize some for your own program.

Halloween on hold, time change maybe cancelled

Halloween on hold, time change may be cancelled

Courtesy: The Weather Network

Today is an unusual day, at least in the east. The City of Montreal and other communities in Quebec have put Halloween on hold. In the west, British Columbia legislators are debating cancellation of the semi-annual time change.

Please double-down on Halloween road safety

Kids (and parents) may complain about Halloween on hold. It’s all due to the lousy weather forecast.

I invite Montrealers to have Halloween on Friday because of the rain and strong winds announced tomorrow– Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said on Twitter on Wednesday.

That has provoked horror and confusion among kids and parents. And some howls (of laughter?) for communities in the north which may get up to 30 cm of snow instead of rain. We get the mayors put Halloween on hold in the interest of public safety.

Whenever you decide this year’s Halloween should be, we worry that makes two dark, rainy or snowy nights in a row where young ghouls and goblins may be out on the street. So we are asking drivers to please double down on your Halloween road safety plan, just in case.

Don’t change your clock (maybe)

Time change is this weekend; for some its time to 'fall back' one hourMeanwhile, this weekend in most of Canada, clocks are supposed to fall back to daylight savings time. Except Saskatchewan.  Since 1912 the prairie province has always officially or unofficially been on Central Time, even though geographically located on Mountain Time. That means for six months of the year, Saskatchewan is on the same time as Manitoba, the other half of the year with Alberta.

Now today, British Columbia has tabled a bill to make the semi-annual time change obsolete in that province. Apparently its to align time zones with trading partners (the US). The public survey showed 93% of people agree to stick with year-round DST.

But note to BC folks: you will still have to figure out how to reset your clocks one more time this weekend. If the bill passes, it won’t come into force until 2020 at the earliest. Only then will there be no more falling back and springing forward.

Confused?

No doubt both of these events are confusing people. When should I take the kids out trick-or-treating? What time is it anyway?

Time to call and book your winter tire changeAll we can say, is we are now at the witching hour: days are shorter, darker, rainy and soon, (sorry to remind you) snowy. Maybe its time to make that call to book your winter tire change…

Wishing you a Happy Halloween, today, or tomorrow. Enjoy that extra hour of sleep (except in Saskatchewan). And we can’t say it often enough: BE ALERT. And that goes for everyone who is on the road: pedestrians, scooters, e-bikes, regular bikes, personal mobility devices, and all manner of motor vehicles as winter nears.

Be Alert and be visible every night

As the time changes and winter nears, we want to urge everyone to think about how you can improve your visibility every night. Prevention is the way to avoid the nightmare of a collision because someone could not be seen. That is why we created our own child-friendly stickers, patches, and Be Alert products.

For auto insurance companies, mechanics and tire specialists who share our concern for pedestrian and road safety, get in touch so we can create your own custom reflective program for Halloween, Winter Tire Season, Back to School, or any time of year. Our Be Alert program aims to encourage awareness and active attention to road safety, especially for the most vulnerable road users: children, pedestrians and cyclists.

A glowing review for a safer Halloween

Nissan Glow Guards Halloween road safety

Watch: Glow Guards Halloween pedestrian safety campaign, courtesy Nissan Canada Inc.

Dark and scary Halloween costumes can sacrifice safety in order to be spooky. Are your kids (and you) excited for trick-or-treating? Have you figured out the costumes yet? We can’t wait for Halloween too, but we also know a dark October night can be super scary for pedestrian road safety.

In pursuit of treats, kids race from house to house and forget to look before they cross a street. Parents and watchful caregivers are pretty good at keeping them safe, but the novelty of dress-up and lure of chasing candy can make it hard to control their charges.

Get your Halloween Glow Guards from Nissan Canada

That is why we give Nissan Canada Inc. a glowing review for leadership on Halloween road safety. They just launched a Glow Guards” Halloween safety marketing campaign. They are giving away free reflective stickers to affix to children’s costumes.

Apply Glow Guards reflective tape to improve visibility on Halloween costumes

Courtesy Nissan Canada

You can pick them up at any one of more than 200 independent Nissan dealerships across Canada.

Visibility is something we know can help prevent terrifying collisions with the most vulnerable on our roads. We couldn’t agree more with the motivation and the message behind the new Nissan Canada campaign.

Be ready for the witching hour

Dressing up in costumes and decorating your house with pumpkins and all kinds of ghoulish kitsch is a favourite fall event to look forward to for most Canadians. Some people even like to play tricks on the trick-or-treaters and give them a fright as they approach the door.

But the scariest thing about Halloween might be statistics on road safety.

Nissan looked into a Canadian led study published by JAMA Pediatrics, and found some frightful data about the increased pedestrian risks on Halloween, especially for younger children. They found a 43 per cent spike of incidents on Halloween due to higher foot traffic on streets, and decreased visibility conditions.

The wicked ‘witching hours’ begin around 6:00 pm as children head out.

This may be one day you ask your boss for the afternoon off, leave early or work from home to avoid the evening rush. If you are the boss, may we suggest you make that the Halloween treat for your employees. And drivers, if you are out after dark on Halloween, please SLOW DOWN, and be extra watchful for ghosts, and young pedestrians.

Go out on Halloween to see and be seen

It’s all in good fun, so get dressed up and go out in your neighbourhood on Halloween. But we join Nissan Canada in urging everyone out on October 31st to Be Alert.

Be sure to make or choose children’s costumes so they can see, and be seen. Carry a flashlight, use reflective tape or LED lights on costumes. Find a way to add some reflective elements to help motorists see them better.

Make this a Happy Halloween!

Be Alert and be visible every night

After all the dress-up, parties and stomach aches are over, we want to urge everyone to think about how you can improve your visibility every night. Prevention is the way to avoid the nightmare of a collision because someone could not be seen. That is why we created our own child-friendly stickers, patches, and Be Alert products.

For dentists, delivery companies and other corporate leaders who share our concern for pedestrian and road safety, get in touch so we can create your own custom reflective program for Halloween, Back to School, or any time of year. Our Be Alert program aims to encourage awareness and active attention to road safety, especially for the most vulnerable road users: children, pedestrians and cyclists.